Republicans are diving into the origins of COVID with new fervor

(The Center Square)

U.S. House oversight lawmakers held a subcommittee hearing on Wednesday to dig deeper into the origin of COVID-19 and who may be responsible.

Coronavirus Pandemic Select Subcommittee Chair Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, led the hearing, saying they would not only investigate the origins of COVID, but also decisions made during the pandemic.

He started by presenting evidence that the virus came from a lab.

“The COVID-19 genome is inconsistent with expectations and is unique for its group of viruses,” he said. “COVID-19 has both a binding domain optimized for human cells and a furin cleavage site – or a small part of the virus that makes it so infectious – that has never been seen before in related viruses. in SARS. In other words, COVID-19 has unique characteristics that make it highly contagious to humans. These have never been seen before in any other virus of its type.

“We know that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was conducting gain-of-function research on new bat coronaviruses by creating chimeric viruses – combining two viruses together to test for infectivity – and infecting mice with these. virus,” he added. “The work that former COVID-19 task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx confirmed was, in fact, gain-of-function; contrary to Dr. Fauci’s statements.

The lab leak theory recently gained traction when news reports broke that the White House and key lawmakers had received classified information indicating that the Department of Energy concluded that COVID-19 likely originated from the laboratory of Wuhan virology.

Shortly after, the FBI confirmed that they had reached the same conclusion.

Related: Wuhan backlash erupts after Biden administration’s stunning admission

Meanwhile, lawmakers are pushing for documents related to the case to be declassified.

The US Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would require Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to declassify documents related to the origins of COVID.

One focus of the hearing was Dr. Anthony Fauci and his role in challenging the idea that the virus could have originated in a lab.

“And over the weekend we published a memo highlighting new evidence that suggests Dr. Fauci ‘instigated’ a publication that would ‘disprove’ the lab leak theory, which the authors distorted the evidence to achieve this goal, and that the current chief scientist of the World Health Organization was an uncredited co-author, even though he appears to have contributed to the article titled “Proximal Origins”” , said Rep. Wenstrup.

“I think we have already established that the select subcommittee will try to spare no effort to try to find the truth,” he added.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told the hearing that China’s lack of candor has made it difficult to find the truth.

Further hearings are expected on this subject. Wenstrup kicked off his remarks by calling this hearing “our first of many hearings regarding the coronavirus pandemic.”

He also lamented the politicization of the question about the origins of COVID. Early in the pandemic, some Republicans, like U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., raised questions about whether the lab might have been the source of the virus and were roundly mocked by the media.

Related: US Department of Energy says COVID-19 likely originated in Chinese lab

Like The Center Square before reported, in 2020, The Associated Press called the idea a “myth”. The same year, The New York Times called it a “conspiracy theory” and The Washington Post called it a “fringe theory.”

Social media companies like Facebook were removing posts in 2021 that claimed COVID-19 was man-made.

Fauci also beat dissenters in repeated media interviews, and social media companies censored views that disregarded supposed facts.

“Unfortunately, the issue of origins has been politicized,” Wenstrup said. “It pushed most people to their limits rather than sparking apolitical scientific debate or discussion.”

Syndicated with permission from The central square.

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