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House Republicans ask Secretary of State for documents related to Wuhan coronavirus lab

Reps seek information on “the possibility of a laboratory leak” having started the pandemic.

Published: May 8, 2021 11:58am

Updated: May 8, 2021 1:02pm

Multiple Republican representatives have requested that the State Department release and declassify documents related to alleged experiments carried out by a Chinese laboratory under scrutiny for its potential role in the origin of the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic.

Numerous GOP leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including Ranking Member Cathy Rodgers and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Brett Gurthrie, asked in a letter to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken this week that the department “release unclassified documents and declassify other documents” related to the State Department’s earlier claims that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was host to “secret military activity” prior to the pandemic. 

The Wuhan lab’s history of coronavirus research, as well as its proximity just a few miles from what the Chinese government claims was the first identified outbreak of COVID-19, has led many public officials, including high-ranking members of the U.S. government, to call for investigations into the lab’s potential role in the start of the pandemic. 

In their letter this week, the GOP leaders note that the lab “has been a major focus for the U.S. government and the World Health Organization (WHO) in examining the origins of COVID-19 and the possibility of a laboratory leak.” 

The release of the requested documents “could help to refute contradictory statements that have been made regarding the possibility of a laboratory leak from the WIV,” they continued, citing statements from the director of the Wuhan lab’s Center of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The letter asks for a response by May 20.

“We hope your statement about getting to the bottom of the origins of this pandemic includes looking at all possible causes, including the possibility of an accidental leak from a laboratory,” the representatives said to Blinken.

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