Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., 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, who is expected to release a report on China and the coronavirus’s origins this week, 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.
That means considering all viable theories, he said, including the theory that COVID-19 escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“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.”
The Republican also urged Biden to look into the U.S.’s funding of the WIV, specifically into whether the WIV was conducting “gain of function” research on coronaviruses that could have resulted in the creation of COVID-19.
“I want to call to your attention the fact that U.S. government funds — whether directly or indirectly — are supporting dangerous dual-use scientific research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Our findings, though incomplete, suggest the United States supported such work despite clear evidence of the People’s Liberation Army’s involvement at the WIV,” he explained.
U.S. health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have denied that the U.S. was funding WIV’s alleged “gain of function” research, instead insisting that COVID-19 originated naturally from an animal.
However, when pressed, Fauci admitted to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., that he could not be sure what exactly the WIV was doing.
“I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done, and I’m fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China,” Fauci said.