House Republicans launched an investigation into COVID-19 traceability on Monday (Feb. 13), initially sending a series of letters to current and former Biden administration officials requesting documents and testimony. The Republican chairmen of the House Oversight Committee and the Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic have requested information from several, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, on how the coronavirus emerged from accidents. A hypothesis has leaked from a Chinese laboratory.
“This investigation needs to start with how and where this virus came from so we can try to predict, prepare or prevent its recurrence.” Rep. James Comer, chairman of the Oversight Committee, added that Republicans would “investigate the facts” and “hold U.S. government officials involved in a cover-up accountable.”
Among the recipients of the letter are Fauci, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Health and Human Services Minister Xavier Beccera and others who hold the majority in the House of Representatives this year. The latest attempt by Republicans to deliver on a promise for the 2022 midterm elections.
Winstop, who is also a longtime member of the House Intelligence Committee, has accused U.S. intelligence agencies of withholding important information about the origin of the new coronavirus. Last year, an employee report released by Republicans on the Intelligence Committee argued that there was “indication” that the new coronavirus may have been developed as a biological weapon at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. This contradicts the declassified assessment report
published by the US intelligence agencies in August 2021. According to the report, analysts did not believe the virus was a biological weapon, although it was possible that the virus was released as a result of a laboratory accident. The letter, sent Monday, did not ask recipients to cooperate. But in December, when Winstop announced the Republican staff report, lawmakers issued subpoenas if potential witnesses did not cooperate.
It is extremely difficult for scientists to draw firm conclusions about the origin of the new coronavirus, but studies by experts around the world have found that COVID-19 most likely originated from the Huanan Seafood Market, which sells live animals in Wuhan, China.
The hypothesis that the virus originated from a lab accident was initially rejected by most public health experts and government officials, but gained ground in May 2021 when President Joe Biden ordered an investigation into the matter. examine.
The 90-day review was designed to get U.S. intelligence agencies to gather more information and review the information they already have. Former State Department officials under President Donald Trump have publicly pushed for further investigations into the origin of the virus, as have calls from scientific researchers and the World Health Organization. However, the consultations of the secret services remained inconclusive. Intelligence agencies said they couldn’t determine whether the virus was a natural event or a lab accident without an unforeseen breakthrough.
Fauci was President Biden’s chief medical officer until December. Many researchers, including Fauci, still believe that the virus most likely occurred naturally and transmitted species of animals to humans, a well-documented viral “spillover event.” Virus researchers have yet to publicly acknowledge new critical scientific evidence that could make the lab leak hypothesis more likely.
But Republicans have accused Fauci of lying to Congress when he testified last September that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) did not fund “gain-of-function” research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. “Function gain” refers to improving the function of a virus in scientific experiments to study the virus’s potential impact on the real world. Republican Senator Ted Cruz even called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel to investigate Fauci’s statements.
Fauci was the nation’s leading infectious disease expert under both Republican and Democratic presidents. He called the criticism of the Republicans absurd.
Cruz and Republican Senator Rand Paul previously said an October 2021 letter from the National Institutes of Health to Congress contradicted Fauci’s claims. Still, there is no clear or scientific consensus that the NIH funded the “profit of function,” nor was there any link between the U.S.-funded research and the occurrence of COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health have repeatedly insisted that the agency’s funds will not be used for this type of research, which increases the infectivity or lethality of pathogens.
However, Fauci said in November that he would “fully cooperate and testify” if Republicans implemented their plan to investigate the origins of COVID.
“I have no problem testifying — we can defend anything and explain what we say,” he said at a White House press conference last year.