WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.) and over 200 members of the Republican Conference called on Speaker Pelosi to direct her committee chairs to join House Republicans in investigating the origins of COVID-19. It has been nearly 18 months since COVID-19 emerged from Wuhan, China, and House Democrats have not held a single hearing on the origins of the COVID-19 despite House Republicans asking numerous times for congressional investigatory resources be devoted to examining the claims that the pandemic started in a Chinese lab, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) covered it up.
In a letter to Speaker Pelosi, the Republican lawmakers wrote, “These questions about the CCP’s liability are not a diversion, as you falsely claimed. To the contrary, every American family that lost someone deserves answers about the origin of this terrible virus, and House Democrats’ ongoing refusal to allocate investigative resources to get those answers is an affront to them.”
This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and sought hospital care in November 2019, according to U.S. intelligence sources. This revelation has prompted major concerns regarding the virus’ origins and the efforts of the U.S. intelligence community to hold the CCP accountable.
Despite this new evidence, House Democrats have remained indifferent about the CCP’s role in the pandemic.
It is also evident that the United States cannot rely upon the World Health Organization (WHO) for a thorough investigation due to the CCP’s ability to influence the agency’s review process over the past year.
The lawmakers concluded, “It is clear the WHO failed to produce the final word on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the CCP’s liability. That task falls to us in Congress. House Republicans have consistently called on you to uncover this truth. It is time you join this battle.”
Click here or read below for the full text of the letter:
May 28, 2021
Dear Speaker Pelosi,
We request that you instruct the appropriate Democrat committee chairs to immediately join Republican calls to hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable for its role in causing the global COVID-19 pandemic. There is mounting evidence the pandemic started in a Chinese lab, and the CCP covered it up. If that is the case, the CCP is responsible for the deaths of almost 600,000 Americans and millions more worldwide. These questions about the CCP’s liability are not a diversion, as you falsely claimed. To the contrary, every American family that lost someone deserves answers about the origin of this terrible virus, and House Democrats’ ongoing refusal to allocate investigative resources to get those answers is an affront to them.
Repeatedly, House Republicans called for a full investigation to address the CCP’s complicity in obscuring the origins of COVID-19. Repeatedly, our requests were ignored. Instead, House Democrats pursued a radical left-wing agenda that is pushing the economy toward the highest inflation rates since 1979. Indeed, in March 2020, Democrat Whip James Clyburn set the tone when he told House Democrats the pandemic represented “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.” Now, more than one year later, Democrats have a record of pushing partisan extremist priorities with no connection to COVID-19 relief, while alarmingly shielding the CCP from scrutiny. After more than a year of inaction in light of mounting evidence against the CCP, it raises serious questions as to why House Democrats continue to cover for the CCP’s lies and obfuscation.
The CCP admitted to “firmly oppos[ing] certain countries’ attempts to . . . hold China accountable.” House Republicans have rejected the CCP’s position with respect to cooperating with an outside investigation. As Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan said back on July 2, 2020, “[I]f [the CCP] had told us earlier, lots more people would be alive today in our country and around the world. [But] for some reason, the majority doesn’t want to look at that fundamental issue.” To hold the CCP accountable, however, we need access to the full range of tools available to congressional investigators, including subpoenas for documents and the power to compel key witnesses to give testimony. To date, Democrat committee chairs throughout the House are refusing to allocate those resources for questioning about the origins of the COVID-19 virus.
This investigation is more urgent now considering the recent report that, according to U.S. intelligence sources, three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) became ill and sought hospital care in November 2019, a full month before the CCP publicly reported any COVID-19 cases. Although House Democrats have been mum on this new evidence, it certainly got the attention of the Biden Administration, which appears to share the concerns of House Republicans about the CCP’s role in the pandemic. For instance, a spokesperson for the National Security Council said, “[w]e continue to have serious questions about the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its origins within the [CCP].” The calls for a full and complete investigation of the CCP’s role, however, are not limited to President Biden’s National Security Council:
- Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra said, “we have to understand how COVID-19 surfaced, we have to understand how it spread so we can try to make sure we are prepared for next time” and “[a] COVID origins study must be launched…to fully assess the source of the virus and the early days of the outbreak.”
- Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden Dr. Anthony Fauci, when asked if he was confident COVID-19 developed naturally, said, “no actually, I am not convinced about that, I think we should . . . investigate what went on in China.”
Finding answers to the questions that Secretary Beccera and Dr. Fauci raised will be difficult. The CCP has made it clear that key evidence is not forthcoming. In fact, since the beginning of the pandemic, the CCP has proactively misled the world about COVID-19. One of the possible origins, the WIV, has never shared any raw data, safety logs, or lab records on its work pertaining to coronaviruses.
This follows a similar pattern of deception by the CCP for the past year. The CCP has:
- coordinated with health officials to conceal the origins and spread of COVID-19;
- led propaganda campaigns to pass the blame for COVID-19 to other countries, including the United States;
- silenced and censored COVID-19 whistleblowers, researchers, physicians, and scientists;
- threatened U.S. elected officials, including Members of the House; and
- expelled American journalists.
It is also clear the World Health Organization (WHO) is not up to the task of investigating these questions. On May 19, 2020, member nations directed the WHO to “identify the . . . source” of COVID-19. On March 30, 2021, the WHO released a report that was undermined by the CCP’s ability to influence the underlying investigation. The CCP had full veto power over inclusion of American scientists; vetoed the three Americans put forward by the U.S. government; designed the mission’s itinerary and refused access to Chinese scientists and raw data; and had full power to edit and alter the final report.
The WHO’s inability to conduct a review that yielded meaningful findings makes the need for a bipartisan congressional investigation more acute. The concerns about the WHO’s investigation are not isolated to House Republicans—several Biden Administration officials raised similar questions about the reliability of the WHO’s report and called for an independent investigation:
- Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “[t]here was a lot of restrictions on the ability of the people who went there to really take a look . . . [I] have some considerable concerns about that.”
- After the WHO said a laboratory accident was “extremely unlikely,” Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said, “that is not [the Biden Administration’s] assessment.”
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated, “[w]e’ve got real concerns about the methodology and the process that went into [the WHO] report, including the fact that the government in Beijing apparently helped write it.”
It is clear the WHO failed to produce the final word on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the CCP’s liability. That task falls to us in Congress. House Republicans have consistently called on you to uncover this truth. It is time you join this battle.
We hope House Democrats will abandon their partisan agenda and join House Republicans’ investigation into the origins of COVID-19. This is one of the most important questions we face. Thank you for your attention to this urgent request.