House Republican says FBI, Energy officials may testify on COVID lab leak conclusions
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) said it was possible that FBI and Department of Energy officials would testify in front of a House panel in the future, after reports that concluded, with varying degrees of confidence, that the source of the pandemic was a leak from a lab.
“There may come a time for that,” Wenstrup said when asked on CBS’s “Face The Nation” whether officials would be called to testify. “I would hope that they do it willingly and depends on which committee you’re talking about, because some of the testimony likely at this point would be classified.”
Wenstrup, who chairs a House subcommittee on the COVID-19 pandemic, said that while he has seen some intelligence on the origins of the pandemic, he has not seen all of the information he wants to see.
Some of his GOP colleagues have called for all U.S. intel on COVID-19’s origins to be made public.
Wenstrup’s comments come after a Department of Energy report earlier this month concluded with “low confidence” that the origin of the pandemic was a leak from a lab. FBI Director Christopher Wray also confirmed that his agency had assessed that the virus most likely came from a lab leak in Wuhan, China.
But despite the findings from the agencies, there is still no consensus on where the pandemic originated from. At least four other intelligence agencies still believe the virus was passed to humans from a natural host.
The “lab leak” theory has been popular in conservative circles since early days of the pandemic, and many Republicans used the news of the Energy Department report to take a victory lap.
But Democrats and the White House were quick to point out that the reports were made with tempered confidence, and there still was no concrete intelligence consensus on where the virus started from. Wenstrup said lawmakers would continue to push more information, some of it classified, to get to the bottom of the mystery.
“We have to continue driving forward and getting questions answered because the more we find, the more questions that we may have,” Wenstrup said.
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