A report by Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence concludes there are “indications” the COVID-19 pandemic is tied to China’s biological weapons research program at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which the lawmakers believe was engineered at the lab, “spilled over” to the general human population during an incident, the minority staff report says, according to Fox News Digital.
The report contradicts a declassified assessment on the origins of COVID-19 by the Biden administration’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence in October 2021 stating SARS-CoV-2 was “probably not a biological weapon.”
The House Republicans directly address the DNI report.
“Contrary to the implication of the [Intelligence Community’s] declassified report, based on our investigation involving a variety of public and non-public information, we conclude that there are indications that SARS-CoV-2 may have been tied to China’s biological weapons research program and spilled over to the human population during a lab-related incident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” a summary of the report states.
“The IC failed to adequately address this information in its classified Updated Assessment. When we attempted to raise the issues with the IC, it failed to respond.”
Hillary Clinton, when she was secretary of state, warned in a cable to French officials that research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology could lead to a “biological weapons proliferation concern.”
‘A smoking gun’
The Republican lawmakers say they have “not seen any credible indication that the virus was intentionally, rather than accidentally, released.”
But they claim they have “a smoking gun that definitively resolves the question of the origins of COVID-19 beyond all doubt.”
They said they will seek to declassify the classified version of their report in the next Congress, when they become the majority, “to further the conversation.”
On Wednesday night, Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and James Comer of Kentucky – who will become chairman of the House Oversight Committee – discussed their upcoming investigation of COVID origins.
Comer said the committee already has identified people at the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services who were involved in the funding of gain-of-function research – the engineering of viruses to make them more transmissible and lethal – at the Wuhan lab.
Comer explained that the U.S. taxpayer funding of the Wuhan lab when through a non-profit called EcoHealth Alliance led by Peter Daszak.
Jordan read from a message from Daszak to an official with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Daszak said he and his team were “happy to hear that our gain-of-function research pause has been lifted,” referring to a moratorium implemented under the Obama administration that ended in December 2017.
In another message, HHS informed Daszak’s EcoHealth alliance that the department had “re-reviewed” the non-profit’s grant application, and the “experiments to generate SARS-like coronaviruses” were no longer subject to the typical review process.
“So, they bypass the review process and they took the [pause] off the gain of function,” Jordan said. “And shazam, what happens? A deadly virus breaks out in the very place where American tax dollars were sent to Wuhan, China.”
Further, the Ohio congressman said, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of NIAID, knew all of that in February 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic.
Instead of informing President Trump and the government’s health leadership, Fauci organized a conference call with scientists with a connection to the “get their story straight and keep that information from the American people.”
The reference was to a conference call organized in response to Kristian Andersen, a virologist at Scripps Research in California, and three other virologists sending a January 2020 email to Fauci stating they saw strong evidence SARS-CoV-2 was engineered in a lab.
But after the teleconference with Fauci to discuss the virologists’ conclusion, Andersen began dismissing the lab-leak possibility as among “crackpot theories” that “relate to this virus being somehow engineered with intent and that is demonstrably not the case.”
See the interview:
Jim Jordan, James Comer launch probe into COVID origins. pic.twitter.com/djjN4oJKrn
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) December 14, 2022