Story at a glance:
- ”[It is the] greatest coverup of all time,” the report stated.
- The report accuses Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance and researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology of lying about the research being done at the lab.
- The head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee stated it wants to subpoena Daszak.
A Republican-led investigation into the origins of COVID-19 claims that the virus was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology sometime before Sept. 12, 2019, and the leak was covered up by researchers at the lab and the Communist Party of China.
The report, released Sunday as an addendum to a 2020 investigation into the COVID-19 origins, calls these actions “the greatest coverup of all time.”
“It is our belief the virus leaked sometime in late August or early September 2019,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the lead Republican in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in the report.
“When they realized what happened, Chinese Communist Party officials and scientists at the WIV began frantically covering up the leak, including taking their virus database offline in the middle of the night and requesting more than $1 million for additional security,” McCaul said.
“But their coverup was too late – the virus was already spreading throughout the megacity of Wuhan,” McCaul said.
The pandemic has caused approximately 4.25 million deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
The lab also made multiple requests for maintenance on an “environmental air disinfection system” and “hazardous waste treatment system,” according to the report. Their facility had been operational for less than two years.
These requests “would indicate concerns about how these systems meant to prevent lab leaks were functioning,” the committee concluded in the report.
Within the month of the leak, hospitals around the Wuhan Institute of Virology saw an uptick in the number of people experiencing symptoms similar to COVID-19, according to satellite images cited in the report.
McCaul says in the report that “a preponderance of the evidence proves that all roads lead to the [Wuhan Institute of Virology].”
The report also asserts that Peter Daszak, president of the U.S.-based NGO EcoHealth Alliance, and Shi Zhengli, director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, lied about and covered up the research being done at the lab.
In regards to Daszak, the committee says he “attempted to hide his close association with the lab” and referred to anyone who called for an investigation into the lab leak was promoting a “conspiracy theory.”
The House Foreign Affairs Committee head stated it wants to subpoena Daszak to have him “answer the many questions his inconsistent – and in some instances outright and knowingly inaccurate – statements have raised.”
Zhengli is accused of lying about the ongoings of the lab, including its gain-of-function research, the timing of when she sequenced the virus closest to SARS-CoV-2, safety protocols and why the database went offline.
The report calls on Congress to “sanction scientists at the WIV and CCP officials who participated in this coverup.”
“This was the greatest coverup of all time and has caused the deaths of more than four million people around the world, and people must be held responsible,” McCaul said.
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