House Republicans have now essentially confirmed that COVID-19 was leaked out of a Chinese lab – unleashing a global pandemic.
Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the updated report on Aug. 2, which was an addendum to their Origins of COVID-19 report released last year.
“As we continue to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe it’s time to completely dismiss the wet market as the source of the outbreak. Instead, as this report lays out, a preponderance of the evidence proves that all roads lead to the WIV,” McCaul said in a statement, referring to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), the lab at the heart of the controversy over the origins of the virus.
The addendum to the report cites multiple pieces of evidence in support of the conclusion that the virus leaked from the Wuhan lab, including actions by Chinese officials and scientists at the WIV to “hide or cover-up” the type of research being done at the facility.
It also cites what it refers to as new and underreported information about lax safety protocols at the lab.
“The preponderance of evidence suggests SARS-CoV-2 was accidentally released from a Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory sometime prior to September 12, 2019,” the updated report reads.
“The virus, or the viral sequence that was genetically manipulated, was likely collected in a cave in Yunnan Province, PRC, between 2012 and 2015.”
The updated report adds that Wuhan lab researchers, CCP officials, and “potentially American citizens” all “directly engaged in efforts to obfuscate information related to the origins of the virus and to suppress public debate of a possible lab leak.”
Chinese officials have vehemently rejected the notion that the virus came from a lab – attempting to cover up their crime by insisting that the virus instead made a natural jump from animals to humans.
A March report from the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that the virus likely has a natural origin and that the lab leak hypothesis was “extremely unlikely,” although WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that more studies are needed, that “all hypotheses remain on the table,” and that “we have not yet found the source of the virus.”
The WHO has called for a follow-up probe into the origins of the virus, including further studies in China along with lab audits, which Chinese officials have recently rejected.
Zeng Yixin, the vice minister of China’s National Health Commission, said at a recent press conference that he was surprised by the WHO’s request for a team to return to Wuhan, calling the move “not scientific.”
In May, President Joe Biden called on U.S. intelligence officials to investigate the origins of the CCP virus, including the possibility of a lab leak, and to report their findings in 90 days.
John Ratcliffe, former Director of National Intelligence (DNI), wrote in an op-ed Monday that the notion of the coronavirus escaping from China’s WIV is “very close to a certainty.”
In addition, he argued Beijing should lose the opportunity to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games over its efforts to cover up its role in the virus’s emergence.
“I had access to all of the U.S. government’s most sensitive intelligence related to the pandemic. My informed opinion is that the lab leak theory isn’t just a ‘possibility,’ at the very least it is more like a probability, if not very close to a certainty,” he wrote.
Author: Newt Harden