A fringe theory has circulated since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic that the highly communicable virus might have originated in a Chinese science lab.
While such speculation has been widely denounced by much of the mainstream media, one report by GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee indicates there might be some evidence to back it up.
“History of research lab leaks”
According to the Washington Examiner, the panel found “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” that the Wuhan Institute of Virology played a role in developing and releasing the pandemic virus. The resulting 21-page document lays out in detail why theories of a laboratory leak hypothesis appear to have some credibility.
Notably, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki would not specifically deny that such evidence exists and called for an “independent, transparent investigation and that needs to happen with the cooperation and data provided by the Chinese government.”
Included in the committee’s report is that the Chinese institute operated in conjunction with that nation’s military and that China has a “history of research lab leaks.”
Among the most alarming findings was that the U.S. government might have facilitated related experiments through funding provided to the lab.
“The threads of circumstantial information suggest the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 ad resulting COVID-19 pandemic could have been the result of an accidental leak from the WIV, particularly given the absence of credible information that supports a zoonotic transmission,” the Republican lawmakers wrote.
“Beijing has hindered the conduct”
Furthermore, the report concluded that “there is no substantive evidence supporting the natural zoonosis hypothesis” regarding the initial transmission of COVID-19 to humans.
For its part, China claims that the outbreak appears to have resulted in transmission from another species, but U.S. officials remain frustrated by the nation’s unwillingness to provide requested data.
“Unfortunately, Beijing has hindered the conduct of a full, credible investigation,” the congressional report declared.
As a result, the authors said researchers are at a disadvantage in attempting to halt a future pandemic, arguing that “it’s crucial for health experts and the U.S. Government to understand how the COVID-19 virus originated.”
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stoked the controversy this week when he publicly challenged the official party line from China and insisted that the communist regime must provide evidence to the rest of the world that “this didn’t come from Wuhan Institute of Virology.”