House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) are pressing senior Biden Administration officials, the president of EcoHealth Alliance, and several virologists who authored “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2” for information necessary to the Oversight Committee’s investigation into COVID origins and, for the first time, outlined the names of 40 individuals with whom the Committee will be requesting transcribed interviews.
A press release published on Wednesday breaks down the decision to do so.
“Discovering the origin of COVID-19 is vital to providing accountability and protecting Americans in the future. Mounting evidence points to the virus originating from a leak at the Wuhan lab. EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S. National Institutes of Health grantee, passed taxpayer funds to the Wuhan lab to conduct gain of function research on bat coronaviruses – research that may have started the pandemic. Dr. Fauci was warned early on that the virus appeared man made and pointed to a lab leak and instead of blowing the whistle may have attempted to cover it up,” said Ranking Member Comer. “The American people deserve answers and accountability. We will continue to follow the facts to determine what, if anything, could have been done differently to guard against the harms Americans have endured during the pandemic. We will continue this oversight to hold U.S. government officials accountable for any wrongdoing and ensure Americans’ tax dollars aren’t being used on risky research at unsecure labs.”
In the 117th Congress, Ranking Members Comer and Jordan have sent numerous letters to the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They have also requested information from several virologists who colluded with Dr. Fauci during the early days of the pandemic to downplay the lab leak theory and wrote a paper concluding with no evidence that COVID-19 is not a result from a lab leak or gain-of-function research. To date, these requests have either been ignored or the responses have been insufficient.
“The American people deserve the facts and the truth about the origins of COVID-19. COVID-19 disrupted our lives and livelihoods for over two years: kids couldn’t go to school, small businesses and churches were closed, our economy tanked, and our freedoms were restricted. If we had known the truth about the virus’s origins, we could have combatted the virus in a more meaningful way at the outset of the pandemic. It is our Constitutional duty to conduct oversight and thoroughly examine the facts so this type of gain-of-function research and bad behavior never happens again,” said Ranking Member Jordan.
House Oversight Committee Republicans’ investigation has already uncovered three key facts: growing evidence shows COVID-19 likely originated from the Wuhan Lab and the Chinese Communist Party covered it up; U.S. taxpayer dollars were being funneled to the Wuhan Lab to conduct risky experimental 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. More information is needed to further the investigation and inform legislative solutions.
Ranking Members Comer and Jordan are again requesting documents, communications, and information pertinent to the investigation into COVID origination.