House Republicans Pressure White House, Dr. Fauci on Origin of Covid-19

Republicans in the House are pushing for the Biden administration as well as other officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, to provide testimony, documents and information about the origin of the coronavirus.

GOP Representative Brad Wenstrup of Ohio and chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, along with James Comer, House Committee on Oversight and Accountability chair, sent letters to six officials on Monday, including Fauci, who served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for almost 40 years prior to retiring from the government in December.  

Letters were also sent to Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence; Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra; President of the EcoHealth Alliance, a non-governmental organization that was reportedly behind the funding of the China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, Peter Daszak; and acting science advisor to the president, Dr. Francis Collins. 

The letters were follow-ups to letters sent to the same individuals in December by the GOP members on the select subcommittee. 

Rep. Wenstrup maintains American people deserve answers

“The American people deserve real answers after years of suffering through the coronavirus pandemic and related government policies,” said Wenstrup. “This investigation must begin with where and how this virus came about so that we can attempt to predict, prepare or prevent it from happening again.” 

Wenstrup continued, “Government scientists and government-funded researchers have so far been less-than-forthcoming and their knowledge and actions, including work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and potential pandemic pathogens. We can’t accept more years of stonewalling.”

A news release stated an Oversight Committee investigation by Republicans into the origin of the virus that began during last Congress’ session, revealed evidence that “Covid-19 likely originated from the Wuhan lab and the Chinese Communist Party covered up; U.S. taxpayer dollars were being funneled to the Wuhan lab to conduct risky gain-of-function research on novel bat coronaviruses; and Dr. Fauci was aware of this information at the start of the pandemic and may have acted to conceal the information by intentionally downplaying the lab leak theory.”

“We will continue to follow the facts to determine what could have been done differently to better protect Americans from this virus and hold U.S. government officials that took part in any sort of cover up accountable,” said Comer.

The moves by Congressional Republicans is in stark contrast to when Democrats had the majority on the panel during the previous Congress, while focusing on looking into the shortcomings and early response from the Trump administration, along with the former president’s political and business dealings. 

The GOP majority would like to investigate gain-of-function research, since the idea is critical to the Republican position that the virus originated in the Wuhan lab and may have been supported by funding from the U.S. government.