GOP launches Covid origins probe by requesting info from Fauci, Biden officials


    A new congressional panel created by House Republicans launched an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic Monday by requesting documents and testimony from health and intelligence officials who have worked in the Biden administration.

    Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, the chair of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, and House Oversight and Accountability chair James Comer, R-Ky., sent letters to Dr. Anthony Fauci, senior Biden administration officials like National Intelligence Director Avril Haines and the president of EcoHealth Alliance, a New York nonprofit group focused on emerging infectious diseases.

    Fauci, who had directed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 and was President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser starting in January 2021, left his federal government posts at the end of December.

    Wenstrup said that Americans “deserve real answers” and that the investigation would probe the virus’ origins in an effort to predict or prevent future pandemics.

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

    Comer said in the statement that “evidence continues to mount pointing” to a virus leak at a Wuhan lab.

    “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,” Comer said.

    While a December 2021 U.S. intelligence report identified three researchers at a Wuhan lab who sought treatment at a hospital after they got sick in November 2019, the findings were not conclusive for a hypothesis that the virus escaped from the lab. Other studies have supported the theory that the virus emerged in nature and not in a lab.

    The subcommittee’s investigation stems in part from skepticism about what government officials and the intelligence community knew about the virus.

    In December, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee published a report that accused intelligence agencies of “omissions” in their public assessment of Covid origins, which GOP members said were “misleading.”

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