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Disgraced Ex-CNN Boss Jeff Zucker Directed Staff Not To Investigate Wuhan Lab Leak Theory, Called It A 'Trump Talking Point'

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Mar. 6 2023, Published 4:00 p.m. ET

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Ex-CNN president Jeff Zucker instructed his staff of journalists and news hosts not to investigate the COVID-19 origin theory centered around a lab leak in China because it was a "Trump talking point," has learned.

The allegation came as the troubled news network has dipped in ratings after controversial anchor Don Lemon declared 2024 presidential hopeful Nikki Haley was "past her prime," among his other abrasive on-air behavior.

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On Monday, a source spilled an interesting claim to Fox News Business about the rival news network. The insider claimed that Zucker pushed back on the Wuhan, China, lab leak story because it was a "Trump talking point."

"People are slowly waking up from the fog," the insider continued. "It is kind of crazy that we didn’t chase it harder."

The allegation came a year after Zucker was ousted from the network following's exposé on his affair with CNN Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Allison Gollust.

Recent reports on the leak theory brought additional scrutiny to Zucker's questionable leadership at the time.

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After the initial COVID-19 breakout, many Democrat politicians, political pundits, and major news networks dismissed the lab leak theory that was rampantly spreading after then-president Donald Trump pushed the narrative to his supporters.

FBI Director Christopher Wray embraced the theory.

Additionally, a report from the U.S. Energy Department also concluded that the source of the deadly virus likely started at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

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Many Trump critics, including CNN hosts and journalists, labeled the theory as racist and attributed the claim to nothing more than a divisive conversation in the midst of a very real problem.

The insider's claim that Zucker prohibited his staff from digging further into the lab leak theory was compounded by features that the network distributed in the early days of the global pandemic.

Media reporter Oliver Darcy published a story for the network that was titled: Here’s how to debunk coronavirus misinformation and conspiracy theories from friends and family.

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According to Darcy's work, the piece aimed to put a positive spin on the tragic uncertainty of the moment instead of investigating the fatal virus' source.

"While the coronavirus pandemic has isolated family and friends inside their homes, it has in many cases increased online or over-the-phone communication with loved ones," Darcy wrote on March 28, 2020.

The piece went on to label outliers' opinions as "conspiracy theories."

"But, in some cases, relatives and friends share poor information — whether it is bad science related to how to prevent the virus, debunked rumors about cities being put on lockdown, or conspiracy theories about the origins of Covid-19," the CNN reporter continued. "While any strain of misinformation is not ideal, misinformation related to a public health crisis has an especially dangerous element to it."



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