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House Republicans demand congressional probe into COVID-19 origin

House Republicans are calling for a congressional investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

The letter from 209 House Republicans, led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.) and Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), demands House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) allow a congressional probe into the virus’s origins.

“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,” the letter reads.

“There is mounting evidence the pandemic started in a Chinese lab, and the CCP covered it up,” the lawmakers continue. “If that is the case, the CCP is responsible for the deaths of almost 600,000 Americans and millions more worldwide.”

The request comes as the Biden administration ramps up its efforts to determine the origin of COVID-19. 

President Biden ordered the intelligence community on Wednesday to “redouble their efforts” to find a definitive conclusion on the virus’s origin and gave them 90 days to report back. Biden said Thursday that he would publicly release the findings.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Thursday that the intelligence community has “coalesced around two likely scenarios.”

“Either it emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals or it was a laboratory accident,” the statement said.

The laboratory theory had been dismissed but has recently been given new attention. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became so ill that they sought hospital care in November 2019, around the time the virus first spread. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a report in March dismissing the laboratory theory as “extremely unlikely.”

“It is clear the WHO failed to produce the final word on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the CCP’s liability,” the Republicans wrote to Pelosi. “That task falls to us in Congress. House Republicans have consistently called on you to uncover the this truth. It is time you join this battle.”

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 COVID-19 origins Elise Stefanik Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Nancy Pelosi Steve Scalise

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