As Twitchy reported earlier, the original tweet from New York Times COVID-19 reporter Apoorva Mandavilli about the “racist roots” of the Wuhan lab leak theory was deleted because she determined that “the reactions are … ridiculous.” We’d been assured it was racist to call COVID-19 the Wuhan coronavirus (by the same media that up to that point had been calling it the Wuhan coronavirus), but we didn’t know that the “suddenly” plausible theory that the virus had leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology had “racist roots.”

The lab leak hypothesis itself might not be racist, but it has racist roots. So, yeah, it’s racist.

“Ugh, I hate deleting tweets, but the reactions are… ridiculous,” she explained. “Lots of clown emojis (is that code beyond just calling me a clown), allusions to CCP and also: is ‘fronting corporate interests’ the new ‘pharma shill’ insult?”

It could be code for calling you a clown, or just calling you out on a clown tweet — it’s ambiguous.

She’s doubled-down, though, tweeting, “A theory can have racist roots and still gather reasonable supporters along the way. Doesn’t make the roots any less racist or the theory any more convincing, though.”

Mandavilli has since deleted all of her tweets, including the one explaining why she’d deleted her first tweet — because the responses were ridiculous. In its place is a new tweet with the real explanation of why she deleted her tweets:

They were badly phrased and called into question the Times’ reporting on the origin of the pandemic.

They were clown tweets, bro.