Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have said there is “significant circumstantial evidence” that the COVID-19 outbreak originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and urged the Biden administration to add “more pressure on China” to investigate the pandemic’s source.
“International efforts to discover the true source of the virus, however, have been stymied by a lack of cooperation from the People’s Republic of China,” Republicans wrote in a Wednesday report obtained by Fox News.
“Nevertheless, significant circumstantial evidence raises serious concerns that the COVID-19 outbreak may have been a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” it added.
“By contrast, little circumstantial evidence has emerged to support the PRC’s claim that COVID-19 was a natural occurrence, having jumped from some other species to human,” they wrote, stating Chinese authorities “have failed to identify the original species that allegedly spread the virus to humans, which is critical to their zoonotic transfer theory.”
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, wants the Biden administration to declassify all intelligence related to the U.S.’s funding of the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s coronavirus research.
Nunes said in a letter to President Joe Biden and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines that the U.S. federal government must push for a thorough and independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
“We write to request that you initiate a whole-of-government effort to identify the origins of the virus and to direct federal agencies and departments to examine all plausible scenarios as part of such investigation,” Nunes said.
“During the course of our investigation, which is ongoing, we have identified substantial circumstantial evidence supporting the theory that a laboratory leak could have been responsible for the origination of COVID-19,” he added.
Dr. Li-Meng Yan, a former researcher at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, released the report, co-authored with two other Chinese scientists, that showed how “SARS-CoV-2 shows biologically characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring, zoonotic virus.”
The coronavirus, Yan wrote, was created in the Wuhan laboratory setting in six months or less, she said.
The Republican letter reported by Fox News also noted, “To protect American citizens from future pandemics, the U.S. Government must place more pressure on China to allow full, credible investigations of the source of the COVID-19 pandemic and to allow probes of the likelihood that it resulted from a lab leak.”
It added, “The U.S. Government must also provide a full accounting of any American cooperation with the Wuhan lab’s coronavirus research, including the support of these projects through U.S. Government funds.”
The New York Post reported on Thursday, “The Republicans want the intelligence community to release all the data it has on the coronavirus’s origins, including any reports on a possible ‘collaboration’ between the Wuhan lab and the Chinese military.”
The letter set a May 31 deadline for a response to the information request.