Republican members of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines claiming they had found evidence of the origin of the Wuhan laboratory virus and urging the release of the latest information on the U.S. government’s traceability investigation.
In the letter, the Republicans first condemned the U.S. intelligence agency for failing to provide timely information about the traceability investigation and for failing to anticipate the early stages of the virus pandemic. They also accuse the Biden administration of failing to see the government make any procedural or authoritative statements regarding theories or hypotheses of origin that have yet to be concluded.
The letter reads, “This leaves the American public skeptical about the validity of early judgments, and the analysis and integrity of intelligence reports related to the new crown.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who likewise signed the letter, referred to Republican lawmakers’ awareness of the allegations, namely the community’s reliance on outside experts to interpret worrisome and as yet unpublished information, and the investigative work on New Crown’s origin theory.
As previously questioned by Republicans, the letter also asks whether the U.S. intelligence community is involved in gain-of-function mutation research and points out whether it is appropriate to fund such research outside the United States. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has actively advocated for the research in the past, but denied that the NIH has funded research in China for the project. The letter set a deadline of May 31 to provide information and responses to the request.
Speaking on Fox News, Newnes said there is no evidence to support that the new crown originated from consumers buying bats in the wet market. We don’t have any evidence that people are eating bats at wet markets,” he told host Maria Bartiromo. I think it’s important to point that out because we’re talking about a very dangerous potential spill here and a future of biological warfare.”
The Wuhan lab has previously released public records of conducting research on function-acquiring mutations, but the Wuhan lab has not publicly and transparently and consistently released records of its work related to the RaTG13 experiment. Function-acquired mutations are a controversial form of research that involves increasing the infectiousness and lethality of pathogens. Fauci has been an active advocate of this research in the past, but he denies that the National Institutes of Health has funded China to conduct research on this project.
Under then-President Barack Obama’s administration, progress on domestic U.S. research into functionally acquired mutations was suspended in 2014. Under former President Trump, however, the moratorium was lifted, although it is not clear who issued the directive.
Although U.S. officials during the Trump administration insisted that the new coronavirus may have originated in the Wuhan laboratory, many experts have expressed doubts about this explanation. The World Health Organization (WHO) released its Wuhan traceability report in March, but did not give specific conclusions about the origin of the virus and how it was transmitted to humans. According to the latest report, direct zoonosis is possible, and transmission through intermediate hosts is also likely. And as for transmission through cold chain products, it is also included in the list of possible factors. In the report, the experts also recommended the need for an integrated global database to track possible early cases of neo-coronavirus, detection of animal species that could be intermediate hosts, and the importance of gaining insight into the role of the cold chain and frozen products in the spread of neo-coronavirus.
In a separate letter to Biden, Republican lawmakers contained confirmation by a senior administration official of their finding that the origin of the new coronavirus may have been the result of a leak at the Wuhan laboratory. The letter reads, “In April, the Director of National Intelligence explained that the new coronavirus arose naturally from human contact with infected animals or was the result of an accident at the Wuhan laboratory. But it is unclear whether the intelligence community, or other parts of the U.S. government, is seeking to determine the truth.”