EXC: Media’s ‘Lab Leak’ Denial Darling Is Actually Ex-Chinese Communist Advisor.


Deborah Seligsohn – an American academic frequently cited by Western media outlets to debunk the COVID-19 “lab leak” theory – has extensive ties to the Chinese Communist Party, including delivering lectures at the regime’s Central Party School and accepting fellowships from state-run universities. 

When cited, mainstream media outlets routinely fail to disclose Seligsohn’s deep ties to Beijing, which call into question her ostensible status as a neutral arbiter of COVID-19’s origins. Currently an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Villanova University, Seligsohn was formerly in charge of science and health issues at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing during the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s.

Since her job in the U.S. State Department, Seligsohn has lectured and participated in fellowships at institutions led by the Chinese Communist Party. She addressed the Central Party School of the Chinese Communist Party – the “exclusive training ground for the elite apparatchiks groomed to govern China” – in December of 2011. She also spoke at the regime-sponsored Shanghai World Expo in 2010.

Seligsohn also served as a research fellow at the state-run Nanjing University before leveraging her credentials to contribute to a host of mainstream media outlets including NPR, Foreign Policy, Associated Press, and more.

In a Foreign Policy op-ed titled “Demands for a Lab Leak Investigation Are a Dangerous Distraction,” Seligsohn posits there “is no actual evidence for the lab leak allegation” despite the theory counting support from scientists and government officials including former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Chief Dr. Robert Redfield and former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. Seligsohn’s op-ed was then utilized by Chinese state-run media outlet China Global Television Network (CGTN), amplifying her words in its article “Expert: Demands For Lab Leak Investigation Are Dangerous Distraction.”

CGTN citing the ex State Dept employee.

“Although virologists have said over and again that there is no actual evidence for the lab leak allegation of the coronavirus, some people in the U.S. just won’t let it go. The demands for a lab leak investigation are a dangerous distraction, warned Deborah Seligsohn, an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University, in an article published recently on the website Foreign Policy,” CGTN wrote in a summary of Seligsohn’s article.

Seligsohn has peddled similar sentiments in outlets including the Associated Press and NPR, both of which failed to include her Chinese Communist Party ties.

In addition to dismissing the lab leak theory, she has also defended scientific collaboration with the Chinese Communist Party, arguing that “joint US-China research on bat coronaviruses is going to be more important after this pandemic, not less” in the Financial Times.

Seligsohn has participated in exclusive interviews with Chinese state-run media outlets decrying officials who trace COVID-19 to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and defending National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded collaboration with Chinese Communist Party-run labs.

She joins the ranks of more and more former U.S. government employees and so-called “experts” who have quietly been aiding the Chinese Communist Party for years.

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is freelance reporter.

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