Fox News reports that Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee are calling upon the U.S. government to pressure China into allowing a “full, credible investigation” into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
“To protect American citizens from future pandemics, the U.S. Government must place more pressure on China to allow full, credible investigations of the source of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Republicans’ report reads.
“Significant circumstantial evidence”
Fox News obtained the information for its article from a report that the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released on Wednesday. In that report, the Republicans, led by ranking House Intelligence committee member Devin Nunez (R-CA), stated that there is “significant circumstantial evidence” that the coronavirus pandemic originated at the Wuhan Lab.
“Nevertheless, significant circumstantial evidence raises serious concerns that the COVID-19 outbreak may have been a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” the Republicans wrote.
The Republicans go on to highlight some of this circumstantial evidence, including that there is a “history of research lab leaks resulting in infections,” that there were warnings in 2017 that the Wuhan lab was engaged in “dangerous research” without “necessary safety protocols,” that “several researchers in the Wuhan lab were sickened with COVID-19-like symptoms” in the Fall of 2019,” and that the Chinese military has been connected to the Wuhan lab.
The House Intelligence Committee Republicans then noted that, in contrast, “little circumstantial evidence has emerged to support the [China’s] claim that COVID-19 was a natural occurrence, having jumped from some other species to human.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has sided with China on this one, claiming that it is “likely to very likely” the coronavirus pandemic was the result of an animal to human transmission and that it is “extremely unlikely” that the coronavirus pandemic originated in the Wuhan lab.
Besides investigating the origins of the virus, the Republicans also called for an investigation “of any American cooperation with the Wuhan lab’s coronavirus research, including the support of these projects through U.S. Government funds.”
In their report, the Republicans ask U.S. intelligence to turn over to the committee all information that it has regarding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic as well as any information regarding possible “collaboration” between the Wuhan lab and the Chinese military.
The Republicans also asked for any information about whether U.S. intelligence was involved in the “gain of function” research being conducted at the Wuhan lab and whether it was appropriate for the U.S. to fund such research outside of the country.
The Republicans asked that their requests be met by May 31.