(TheRedWire.com) – In December 2019, the first known case of COVID-19 was reported in Wuhan, China. From there, it spread across the globe and created a worldwide pandemic that resulted in 95,000 confirmed global cases before the United States began locking down to bend the infection curve in March 2020.
Efforts to determine the exact origins of COVID-19 have been challenging. China has refused to cooperate fully, and in 2020, the communist government provided limited information to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Wuhan is home to one of China’s research facilities, the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Many conspiracy theories cropped up over the last year, theorizing the virus was either transmitted from an animal like a bat or leaked from the virology institute.
Based on a high degree of probability, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a report saying “significant circumstantial evidence” exists that the COVID-19 virus leaked from the Wuhan institute and did not originate in an animal.
On Wednesday, May 19, Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) released the findings of their investigation so that the US government and health experts could understand COVID-19’s origins and work to prevent another pandemic in the future.
Committee Republicans pointed to previous viral leaks from the facility that resulted in infections, including in 2019 when Wuhan lab workers became sick with COVID-19-like symptoms. It was a clear nod to past behavior being a predictor of the future.
In previous Coronaviruses outbreaks, such as MERS and SARS, researchers pinpointed the origins of the jump from animals to humans. However, the GOP report notes that Chinese authorities failed to provide clear evidence to support that COVID-19 transmitted from animals to humans.
Partly on that basis and on other information, Republicans allege significant circumstantial evidence that COVID-19 came from a lab leak at the Wuhan Virology Institute, where the Chinese military is also believed to be involved in viral research work.
Previous Finding Now in Question
The Republicans called into question the early intelligence reports of the virus’s origins. They suggested the intelligence community wasn’t “forthcoming” about what they knew or how they gathered their information. The committee is requesting the current administration to provide a report about the US government’s knowledge of the Wuhan lab and any collaboration with the Chinese military during the current or previous administrations.
The committee gave the Biden administration a May 31 deadline to provide the requested information.
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