Pandemic Response Report is a weekly newsletter about America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic from Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis (SSOCC) Republicans. 

What’s Important  


The Science Points to a Lab Leak: Recently, Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Republicans held a forum where lawmakers heard from Members of Congress who have been investigating the virus’ origins as well as expert witnesses about the mounting evidence showing the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Panelists agreed the science points to a lab leak.


We Need a Full and Complete Investigation into COVID-19’s Origins: Congress must provide leadership in the COVID origins investigation, but Democrats have refused to participate in Republican efforts to hold the CCP accountable.


Cuomo Undercounted COVID Deaths: According to a new report, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration undercounted the COVID-19 death toll in his state by 11,000.


Crisis Corner


Drug Overdose Deaths Increased by 30% During Lockdowns: According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths increased to a record 93,000 in 2020 during pandemic lockdowns. This is an increase of 30% from the previous year. Not only are draconian lockdowns unscientific, they harmed American communities across the nation.


Nearly Half of Baltimore High School Students Failed in the Past Academic Year: According to a new report, 41% of high school students in Baltimore City Schools earned a grade point average of 1.0 during the 2020-2021 school year while schools remained shuttered. This is a tragic consequence of unscientific school closures pushed by radical teachers unions. The science clearly shows COVID-19 transmission rates are low in school settings. As we approach the 2021-2022 school year, it’s imperative America’s classrooms are open to students.


Democrat Hypocrisy Alert


Cuomo Undercounted COVID Deaths: Governor Cuomo bragged about his “leadership” during the pandemic, but more facts continue to reveal he failed New Yorkers. Not only did he order COVID-19 positive patients to nursing homes and attempt to cover-up the death toll, we now know his administration undercounted the COVID-19 death toll in his state by 11,000. Republicans have repeatedly called on Democrats to compel Governor Cuomo’s congressional testimony, but they have refused to hold him accountable.


This Week in SSOCC


The Science Points to a Lab Leak: Recently, Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), and Republican lawmakers held a forum entitled “Led By Science: The COVID-19 Origin Story.” At the forum, the Republican lawmakers heard from Members of Congress who have been investigating the virus’ origins as well as expert witnesses about the mounting evidence showing the virus originated from the WIV. Panelists agreed the science points to a lab leak.


Below are key takeaways from the forum.

What They’re Saying
House Oversight Republicans demand answers from Fauci, Collins over grant to Wuhan lab (Daily Caller)
”Republicans on the House Oversight Committee sent a Thursday letter to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAID) Director Anthony Fauci demanding answers about a grant to EcoHealth Alliance, which then conferred the taxpayer funds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). The Daily Caller first obtained the letter led by the Ranking Member Kentucky Rep. James Comer and signed by every Republican on the committee. In it, they will be invoking the Seven Member Rule, which is a law that requires, upon a request of seven Members on the Committee on Oversight and Reform, an executive agency to ‘submit any information requested of it relating to any matter within the jurisdiction of the committee.’”House Republicans hold own hearing on COVID-19 origins (Fox News)
“GOP lawmakers on Tuesday held their own hearing on the origins of COVID-19 and demanded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi convene a bipartisan one, also urging the House to pass a bill to declassify all intelligence related to the virus. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said that Republicans had invited Dr. Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), but without the approval of the speaker their hearing had no subpoena power to compel them to testify. Scalise is a ranking member on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. He said he asked Chairman Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., about holding a hearing on the origin of the virus, and Clyburn declined.”
House Republicans press for answers to origins of COVID-19 (Washington Times)
“House Republicans took aim at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology Tuesday in a hearing Tuesday to investigate the origins of COVID-19. “The evidence continues to mount that this was a man-made disaster that started in the Wuhan lab,” said House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, in his opening remarks. “If that is the case, then it might be considered dramatically worse than Chernobyl.” The select subcommittee’s panel included testimony from four public health professionals who contend that evidence points to the virus originating from the lab, rather than through naturally occurring infectious disease transmission.”
Rep. Keller: Why not investigate COVID’s origins? (Washington Examiner)
“It’s time for Congress to authorize a thorough investigation into the origins of COVID-19 and finally hold China accountable. More than 200 House Republicans, myself included, have sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi in support of a congressional inquiry into COVID-19. To date, these calls have fallen on deaf ears. After more than a year, Americans deserve to know the truth, and there is no entity with more investigative resources at its disposal than the United States Congress. Every American was affected by COVID-19. All of us who lost family, friends, and livelihoods deserve answers.”

WHO chief says it was “premature” to rule out COVID lab leak (AP)

“The head of the World Health Organization acknowledged it was premature to rule out a potential link between the COVID-19 pandemic and a laboratory leak, and he said Thursday he is asking China to be more transparent as scientists search for the origins of the coronavirus. In a rare departure from his usual deference to powerful member countries, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said getting access to raw data had been a challenge for the international team that traveled to China earlier this year to investigate the source of COVID-19. The first human cases were identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan.”


Reps. Foster and Miller-Meeks: Getting a COVID-19 vaccination is a patriotic act. Do it for your family and for America. (USA Today)

“Thanks to the scientists engaged in Operation Warp Speed and many others, lifesaving vaccines are widely available and the end of our struggle is, at last, coming into view. As members of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis – and as a scientist and a physician by training – we agree on the most important step forward. At this critical moment, to finally overcome the virus and avoid continued outbreaks, more Americans need to get vaccinated.”


Reps. Scalise and Miller-Meeks: Shipping vaccine intellectual property abroad undermines American ingenuity and innovation (Washington Times)

Throughout the misery of this global COVID-19 pandemic, the heroic efforts of American healthcare professionals have been on full display. With the help of Operation Warp Speed and building on years of research, American pharmaceutical companies developed three safe and effective vaccines that have essentially ended the pandemic. This impeccable American innovation has allowed us to leave lockdowns, take off our masks, and begin a return to normalcy. But, oddly, the Biden-Harris Administration is now seeking to undermine the foundation that led to this success … Stripping innovators of their constitutionally protected patents will undermine innovation, weaken our international competitiveness, and only help the Chinese Communist Party, who ruthlessly spread the pandemic. For years, we have all complained about China stealing IP from American companies, and now President Biden’s plan is to give it away for free? Truly unbelievable.”


The Kids Are Alright Why now is the time to rethink COVID safety protocols for children — and everyone else. (New York Magazine)

’It may sound strange, given a year of panic over school closures and reopenings, a year of masking toddlers and closing playgrounds and huddling in pandemic pods, that, according to the CDC, among children the mortality risk from COVID-19 is actually lower than from the flu. The risk of severe disease or hospitalization is about the same. This is true for the much-worried-over Delta variant. It is also true for all the other variants, and for the original strain. Most remarkably, it has been known to be true since the very earliest days of the pandemic — indeed it was among the very first things we did know about the disease. The preliminary mortality data from China was very clear: To children, COVID-19 represented only a vanishingly tiny threat of death, hospitalization, or severe disease. Yet for a year and a half we have been largely unwilling to fully believe it. Children now wear masks at little-league games, and at the swimming pool, and when school reopens in the fall they will likely wear masks there, too. But the kids are not at risk themselves, and never were. Now, thanks to vaccines, the vast majority of their parents and grandparents aren’t any longer, either.”


Member Mentions


House Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.) emphasizes every expert witness agrees COVID-19 originated from the Wuhan lab.


Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) discusses the COVID origins investigation with Maria Bartiromo.
Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) calls for Communist China to be held accountable.
Representative Mark Green (R-Tenn.) and Oversight Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) appear on “The Ingraham Angle” to discuss the COVID-19 origins forum.
House Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.) blasts giving U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan lab.
Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) testifies at the COVID-19 origins forum.
Oversight Republicans highlight the GOP’s COVID-19 origins forum.

House Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.) calls out Democrats for refusing to investigate the origins of COVID-19.