Jon Stewart pushes coronavirus lab leak theory as first returning guest on 'Late Show with Stephen Colbert'

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Jon Stewart used his time as the first post-COVID guest on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to push the theory that the coronavirus came from a lab in Wuhan, China. 

The former “Daily Show” host sat down with his old comedy friend for an interview where he almost immediately began pushing the unproven theory that COVID-19 began spreading across the world after leaking from a lab that was doing research on bat coronaviruses in Wuhan. 

“I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science because science has, in many ways, helped ease the suffering of this pandemic, which was more than likely caused by science,” Stewart began.

“There’s a chance this was created in a lab,” a cautious Colbert responded. “There’s an investigation.”

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Jon Stewart during Monday’s June 14, 2021 show. 
(Scott Kowalchyk/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc.)

“A chance?!” Stewart shot back. “Oh my God, there’s a novel respiratory coronavirus overtaking Wuhan, China, what do we do? Oh, you know, who we could ask, the Wuhan novel respiratory coronavirus lab. The disease is the same name as the lab! That’s just a little too weird, don’t you think?”

Stewart continued: “Then they ask the scientists ‘wait a minute, you work at the Wuhan respiratory coronavirus lab, how did this happen?’ and they’re like, ‘a penguin kissed a turtle?’”

The comedian then stood up from his chair to continue his rant on the matter, issuing a hypothetical parallel to the Hershey’s Chocolate headquarters. 

“‘Oh my God,  there’s been an outbreak of chocolaty goodness near Hershey, Penn. What do you think happened?’ I don’t know, maybe a steam shovel mated with a cocoa bean,” he said. “Or it’s the f—ing chocolate factory! Maybe that’s it!”

Colbert was clearly delighted by his guest’s over-the-top antics but stopped short of co-signing on Stewart’s belief in the lab leak theory.

“Stop with the logic and people and things, the name of the disease is on the building!” Stewart joked.

“It could be possible, you could be right, but it could be possible that they have the lab in Wuhan to study the novel coronavirus diseases because in Wuhan there are a lot of novel coronavirus diseases because of the bat population there,” Colbert suggested.

Stewart agreed but noted that Austin, Texas, where people gather under Congress Bridge to watch countless bats emerge from underneath every night, does not have a laboratory dedicated to the study of coronaviruses.

“And how long have you worked for Sen. Ron Johnson?” Colbert asked, mocking the Wisconsin senator.   

Realizing that he was walking into tin-foil hat territory, Stewart got up from his chair once again and spoke directly to the camera, joking that the pandemic lockdown has warped his brain a bit. 

“I’ve been alone for so long and when I realized the laboratory was having the same name, first name and last name, of the evil that had been plaguing us, I thought to myself… that’s f—ed up,” he joked.

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