House Republicans held a panel presentation today to discuss the origins of COVID-19 (which the Democrats couldn’t be bothered to attend). During the presentation, Republicans on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis heard from several scientists and shared their own statements regarding their investigation thus far, (many of which track with reporting we’ve been bringing you here at RedState).
Dr. Brett Giroir, who served as Assistant Secretary for Health in President Trump’s HHS, and was designated as the coronavirus “testing czar,” spoke to the subcommittee, as did former State Department investigator Dr. David Asher, Dr. Steven Quay, founder of Atossa Therapeutics, and Richard Muller, a physics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. (Quay and Muller recently penned a piece for the Wall Street Journal opining that COVID-19 was likely engineered in a lab.)
Regarding his appearance before the subcommittee, Dr. Asher told Fox News’ Trace Gallagher that China needed to be held responsible:
DR. DAVID ASHER: I’m not going to blame the Democratic Party on this one. We’ve had excellent meetings so far here in Washington with Democratic staffers and members, at least by remote. I just think they don’t want to be in the same room with Republicans on this thing and maybe vice versa. So I can’t fix the partisanship in this town, but we can fix what the communist Chinese did to try to undermine our country and the world system with COVID. Even if they didn’t do it deliberately, they knew it would spread. They let it spread, and it cost us millions of lives. And we have to bring these people to heel over in communist China.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) presided over the panel. Per the NY Post:
“We have asked that question for more than a year and requested that the House majority hold hearings to investigate the origins of COVID. Perplexingly, Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [(D-Calif.)] has refused to allow a single hearing — calling it a ‘diversion,’” Scalise said in his opening statement. “As the American people will hear today from our expert witnesses, this is far from a diversion.”
Following Scalise, Devin Nunes (R-Ca.) gave his remarks. And then Representative Michael McCaul (R-Tx), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Head of the China Task Force, shared his findings, including the revelation that the Chinese Military may have taken over the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab earlier than had previously been reported:
“New testimony now received by my committee reveals the Chinese military potentially took over this lab, not in January 2020 as was reported, but earlier in 2019,” McCaul said. “The Chinese military were actually in the facility at the time of 2017. That signals the CCP was worried about something at the lab before the world even knew what COVID-19 was. Why else would they put the Chinese military in charge?”
McCaul’s reference to 2017 may be derived from this State Department Fact Sheet, released in January, which notes in part:
3. Secret military activity at the WIV:
- Secrecy and non-disclosure are standard practice for Beijing. For many years the United States has publicly raised concerns about China’s past biological weapons work, which Beijing has neither documented nor demonstrably eliminated, despite its clear obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention.
- Despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution, the United States has determined that the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military. The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017.
- The United States and other donors who funded or collaborated on civilian research at the WIV have a right and obligation to determine whether any of our research funding was diverted to secret Chinese military projects at the WIV.
As McCaul rightly points out, this raises the question why? What was going on at the lab that prompted the military presence in 2019 (or earlier)?
McCaul further made the following notable remarks in addition to the revelation about the Chinese military presence at the lab:
- “I released my initial report last September. In that report, we touched on the possibility that it could have come from the lab. After continuing to research this topic, I now feel comfortable concluding that it is more likely than not that it came from the lab. In fact, I would say there is credible evidence, as a former federal prosecutor.”
- “I believe it’s time to completely dismiss the wet market as a source of the outbreak. We have a confirmed case ten days before the wet market cluster that had no connection to the market itself. In fact, I would say this is a diversion by the CCP, and all roads point to the lab.”
- “In a city five times larger than the City of Houston, the first signs of a new illness were all clustered around the old WIV facility — the Level 2 facility. Then on September 12, 2019, the WIV suddenly took their virus database offline. You have to ask the question: “Why? Why did they take this offline?” Removing the database would prevent hospitals in the city from comparing samples from sick patients to the lab’s library of viruses. If the CCP was attempting to cover up a leak of coronaviruses being studied at the WIV, this would remove the ability to link COVID-19 back to the WIV.”
McCaul’s comments are teed up in the video below: