As the nation continues to get its post-pandemic footing, and the focus of many has shifted to discovering the true origins of COVID-19, Fox News reports that congressional Republicans are now pointing to what they call mounting proof that the virus started from a lab leak in China – a theory former President Donald Trump was roundly criticized for furthering last year.
GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday released a report in which heavy suspicions of blame for the coronavirus outbreak that spread across the globe were placed at the feet of researchers in Wuhan, China, as the Washington Examiner notes.
The report emphasized the pressing need for “health experts and the U.S. government to understand how the COVID-19 virus originated in order to thwart or “quickly mitigate” future pandemics of a similar nature.
Unfortunately, as the committee report noted, “International efforts to discover the true source of the virus…have been stymied by a lack of cooperation from the People’s Republic of China,” but added,
“Nevertheless, significant circumstantial evidence raises serious concerns that the COVID-19 outbreak may have been a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
In support of their lab leak argument, as Fox News reported, Republicans highlighted the country’s “history of research lab leaks resulting in infections,” and prior warnings – dating back in some cases to 2017 – that the lab in Wuhan was engaged in “dangerous research” on these types of virus, but not adhering to “necessary safety protocols, risking the accidental outbreak of a pandemic.”
Also of note, according to the report titled In Focus: COVID-19 and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, is the fact that a number of Wuhan researchers suffered from symptoms characteristic of infection with this particular virus back in the autumn of 2019, not to mention “known involvement in the Wuhan lab of the Chinese military, which has a documented biological weapons program.”
Though early on the pandemic, much was made of the hypothesis that the virus in fact spread from bats or other animal species to humans, the committee report opines that “little circumstantial evidence has emerged to support the [Chinese government’s] claim that COVID-19 was a natural occurrence,” and that Chinese officials “have failed to identify the original species that allegedly spread the virus to humans, which is critical to their zoonotic transfer theory.”
Perhaps most importantly, the report calls on the federal government to “place more pressure on China to allow full, credible investigations of the COVID-19 pandemic” and “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.”
Demanding that the intelligence committee disclose all known facts on the origins of COVID-19, the Republicans behind the report have set a May 31 deadline for receipt of that information from administration officials, according to the New York Post. Whether the truth about the pandemic is ever revealed – and whether Trump’s early conclusions are fully and finally vindicated – are things that remain to be seen.