Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee led by Devin Nunes (R-CA) say there is "significant circumstantial evidence" that COVID-19 originated from a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to a Wednesday report released obtained by Fox News.
According to the report, the federal government needs to put "more pressure on China" to allow a "full, credible investigation" into the source of the pandemic, adding that it's "crucial for health experts and the U.S. government to understand how the COVID-19 virus originated" to prevent "or quickly mitigate future pandemics."
Hell has a greater chance of freezing over, but we digress.
"International efforts to discover the true source of the virus, however, have been stymied by a lack of cooperation from the People’s Republic of China," wrote the Republicans. "Nevertheless, significant circumstantial evidence raises serious concerns that the COVID-19 outbreak may have been a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology."
Republicans pointed to China’s "history of research lab leaks resulting in infections," and warnings from U.S. diplomats in China as early as 2017 that the Wuhan lab was conducting "dangerous research" on coronaviruses without following "necessary safety protocols, risking the accidental outbreak of a pandemic."
Republicans also pointed to public reports that "several researchers in the Wuhan lab were sickened with COVID-19-like symptoms" in Fall 2019, and the Chinese military’s "involvement in the Wuhan Lab."
"By contrast, little circumstantial evidence has emerged to support the PRC’s claim that COVID-19 was a natural occurrence, having jumped from some other species to human," they wrote, saying Chinese authorities "have failed to identify the original species that allegedly spread the virus to humans, which is critical to their zoonotic transfer theory." -Fox News
Fauci has some explaining to do
Committee Republicans also say "clear signs" exist that US government agencies and academic institutions "may have funded or collaborated in Gain of Function research" in Wuhan, claiming that research "was published even after the U.S. government had paused these kinds of studies in the United States due to ethical concerns over their biowarfare applicability and their potential to accidentally unleash a pandemic."
"To protect American citizens from future pandemics, the U.S. Government must place more pressure on China to allow full, credible investigations of the source of the COVID-19 pandemic and to allow probes of the likelihood that it resulted from a lab leak," the report continues. "The U.S. Government must also provide a full accounting of any American cooperation with the Wuhan lab’s coronavirus research, including the support of these projects through U.S. Government funds."
Nunes and crew demand the US intelligence turn over all information it has related to COVID-19's origins, including any possible "collaboration" between the Wuhan lab and the PRC. It also requests any evidence proving that COVID-19 emerged naturally from animals outside the lab, and whether the US intelligence community was involved in any reviews of "gain of function" research being conducted at the lab.
Meanwhile, Biden's new CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, acknowledged this week during a Congressional hearing on the pandemic that the lab escape theory is a "possibility."
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More via Summit News:
After asserting that most coronaviruses have an “animal origin,” Walensky was pressed by Senator John Kennedy into addressing “other possibilities.”
“Certainly a lab-based origin is one possibility,” said Walensky.
Last week, we highlighted an open letter signed by a group of the world’s leading scientists urging further investigation into the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
As we previously noted, after spending months trying to negotiate a visit, WHO officials largely absolved China of blame for the COVID-19 pandemic after visiting a virus lab in Wuhan for just 3 hours.
In the early weeks of the pandemic, the WHO regurgitated Chinese propaganda that there was no human to human transmission of COVID and even after acknowledging there was, the health body suggested it was racist for countries to impose border controls.
Earlier this month, an independent body ruled that the WHO could have saved 3 million lives if it had urged travel restrictions earlier.
Walensky’s predecessor Robert Redfield, who served under Donald Trump, also discussed the lab leak origin of COVID during an interview with CNN in March when he said it was the “most likely” explanation.
A prominent German scientist with the University of Hamburg also released findings in February of a year long study that concludes the most likely cause of the coronavirus pandemic was a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The establishment press and social media networks have previously attempted to bury questions about the lab origin of COVID by declaring them “conspiracy theories” and censoring information, but now there are too many prominent voices making the same argument for that to continue.