House Republicans Launch an investigation into the origin of COVID-19 by issuing a series of letters to current and former Biden administration officials. The Republican chairmen of the House Oversight Committee and the subcommittee on the coronavirus pandemic requested information from several people, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, regarding the hypothesis that the coronavirus leaked accidentally from a Chinese lab.
The investigation aims to determine how the virus emerged so that measures can be taken to prevent it from happening again. The letters sent Monday do not require the cooperation of recipients. However, if potential witnesses don’t cooperate, lawmakers would issue subpoenas.
The hypothesis that COVID-19 originated from an accidental lab leak began to receive scrutiny after President Joe Biden ordered an investigation into the matter in May 2021.
The 90-day review proved inconclusive, with intelligence agencies saying that barring an unforeseen breakthrough, they wouldn’t be able to conclude the origin either way.
Many scientists, including Fauci, say they still believe the virus most likely emerged in nature and jumped from animals to humans. Virus researchers have not publicly identified any key new scientific evidence that might make the lab-leak hypothesis more likely.
However, Republicans have accused Fauci of lying to Congress when he denied in May that the National Institutes of Health funded “gain of function” research at a virology lab in Wuhan.
Nonetheless, Fauci indicated in November that he would “cooperate fully and testify” if Republicans followed through with their plans to investigate COVID’s origin.
Wenstrup, who is also a longtime member of the House Intelligence Committee, has accused U.S. intelligence of withholding key facts about its investigation into the coronavirus.
Republicans on the committee last year issued a staff report arguing that there are “indications” that the virus may have been developed as a bioweapon inside the China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The letters to Fauci, National Intelligence Director Avril Haines, Health Secretary Xavier Beccera, and others are the latest effort by the new Republican majority to make good on promises made during the 2022 midterms campaign.
Republicans will “follow the facts” and “hold U.S. government officials that took part in any sort of cover-up accountable.”
It is extremely difficult for scientists to establish definitively how diseases emerge, but studies by experts around the world have determined that COVID-19 most likely emerged from a live animal market in Wuhan, China.