The Republican-led Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic will hold its first hearing on the origins of the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, next week.
According to a press release previewing the event, the hearing, “Investigating the Origins of COVID-19,” will focus on “gathering facts” about the origins of the virus. It will take place Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at 9 a.m. Eastern.
The timing of the hearing follows President Biden’s Department of Energy identifying a lab leak as a likely source of the virus.
“The American people deserve real answers after years of suffering through the coronavirus pandemic and related government policies,” Select Subcommittee Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) said in a statement.
“This investigation must begin with where and how this virus came about so that we can attempt to ‘predict, prepare, protect, or prevent’ it from happening again,” he continued, noting that “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. We look forward to hearing from our esteemed witnesses next week about their research on this topic,” the congressman added:
On March 8, we’ll hold the our first hearing on COVID origins.
At the hearing, we will gather facts about the origination of the virus that has claimed nearly seven million lives globally.https://t.co/pyBNupj0pH
— Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic (@COVIDSelect) March 1, 2023
The hearing comes on the heels of the Department of Energy admitting, albeit with “low confidence,” that the virus likely stemmed from a lab leak in China — a theory that some officials viewed with mockery throughout the pandemic. For instance, while Dr. Anthony Fauci, a former White House medical adviser and ex- director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appears to present himself as open to the theory now, that was not always the case.
“Anthony ‘Tony’ Fauci has become the scientific face of America’s COVID-19 response, and he says the best evidence shows the virus behind the pandemic was not made in a lab in China,” a May 2020 interview published in National Geographic states, reporting that Fauci “shot down the discussion,” or the lab leak theory, deeming it a “circular argument.”
“If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated,” Fauci told the magazine.
“Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species,” he added.
The shift in the blanket dismissal of the lab leak theory has prompted several lawmakers to call on Biden to declassify the information the Department of Energy used to jump to that conclusion, over three years after the start of the pandemic:
Classified documents leaked (they should be declassified!) showing scientists at DOE believe COVID leaked from Wuhan Lab https://t.co/glETIVPe5z
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 27, 2023
Nearly two years on from the Senate passing this bill to declassify everything about the Wuhan lab leak, and President Biden still has not given the American people the transparency we deserve.
Time to declassify! https://t.co/FoJj0UvAV4
— Senator Mike Braun (@SenatorBraun) February 27, 2023
The American people deserve the full truth about #covid origins. No more whitewash. I will again introduce legislation to make the US government’s intelligence reports on covid open to the people https://t.co/6rKqPzPKO2
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) February 26, 2023