Chris Lieberman, FISM News
The new House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic began its investigation into the origins of COVID-19 on Monday with letters to Anthony Fauci and other officials requesting an interview.
“The American people deserve real answers after years of suffering through the Coronavirus pandemic and related government policies,” subcommittee chair Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) said in a statement. “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.”
“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. We can’t accept more years of stonewalling; the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic is committed to conducting a proper investigation that the American people have demanded,” Wenstrup added.
In creating the subcommittee, Republicans are making good on a midterm campaign promise to investigate unanswered questions about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes probing whether or not the virus was a result of a lab leak at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, and whether the National Institute of Health funded gain-of-function research that led to the pandemic’s outbreak.
The subcommittee issued letters to Fauci, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, White House Acting Science Adviser to the President Dr. Francis Collins, and EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak.
The letters are requests for a transcripted interview but do not compel the witnesses to comply. However, Republicans have indicated that they may subpoena those who do not testify willingly.
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) stressed the importance of uncovering the truth about the pandemic. “Understanding the origins of COVID-19 is essential to providing accountability and protecting Americans in the future,” Comer said. “Evidence continues to mount pointing to the virus leaking from an unsecure lab in Wuhan.”
We know EcoHealth Alliance acted as a middleman, improperly funneling thousands of taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan lab to conduct risky gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses which could have started the pandemic. Dr. Fauci was alerted early on that COVID-19 had markings of a manipulated virus yet may have chosen to cover it up instead of blowing the whistle. 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.
Republicans have long expressed skepticism at the government’s official narrative on the origins of COVID-19. The U.S. intelligence community issued an assessment in August 2021 stating that they do not believe China created the virus as a bioweapon, but that both the lab-leak theory and natural transmission from animals are plausible explanations for the origins of the virus. Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee published their own report in December saying that the intelligence community’s assessment included “omissions” that were “misleading.”
Fauci, who served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease since 1984 under both Democratic and Republican presidents, as well as chief medical advisor to the Biden administration since his inauguration, stepped down from both posts at the end of December. He has previously said he intends to cooperate with all investigations.
“I have no trouble testifying — we can defend and explain everything that we’ve said,” Fauci told White House reporters last year.