House Republicans widen COVID origins investigation, seek docs on gain-of-function research
Formerly maligned as a conspiracy theory, recent reports have lent credence to the notion that the COVID-19 pandemic originated as the result of a lab leak at the WIV in China.
House Republicans on Monday sent a bevy of document requests to various federal agencies seeking information on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including information on gain-of-function research and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, wrote to the Department of State, the Department of Energy and the FBI seeking communications and materials pertinent to the lab and the pandemic.
Formerly maligned as a conspiracy theory, recent reports have lent credence to the notion that the COVID-19 pandemic originated as the result of a lab leak at the WIV in China, which was known to be researching coronaviruses. A Wall Street Journal report recently revealed that Department of Energy scientists have come to view the lab leak as the pandemic's most likely origins.
In the wake of that revelation, the Republican lawmakers wrote to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, asserting that her "Department has been at the center of the origins debate, oversees the U.S. National Laboratories, and interacts directly with the Intelligence Community (IC)."
"Therefore your documents and testimony are essential to informing the Select Subcommittee about what the U.S. government knew regarding the origins of COVID-19 and when the government knew it," they wrote.
From Secretary of State Antony Blinken, they sought materials pertaining to a January 15, 2021, document outlining activity at the WIV, along with information pertaining to the World Health Organization's investigation into the pandemic's origins and numerous other documents.
They further asked FBI Director Christopher Wray to provide them with materials related to Bureau intelligence briefings on the matter, among the general documents and communications they requested from all three agencies. The Republicans also sought the testimony of both Wray and Blinken.
Comer and Wenstrup gave the Biden administration officials until March 13 to provide them with the requested materials.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.