A classified report by U.S. intelligence agencies allegedly yielded “inconclusive” results about the origins of COVID-19 after Communist China refused to cooperate and provide investigators with lab records, samples, and other virus research.
“It was a deep dive, but you can only go so deep as the situation allows,” one U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal. “If China’s not going to give access to certain data sets, you’re never really going to know.”
For months, health bureaucrats and politicians around the world claimed COVID-19 jumped from animals at a Chinese wet market to humans. Despite evidence that virus researchers in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) became sick shortly before the outbreak in Wuhan and subsequently the world, Big Tech censored claims that COVID-19 could have originated in a lab until recently.
President Joe Biden received a briefing on the report on Tuesday after ordering an investigation more than 90 days ago with the hopes that it “could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion” on how this virus began. Instead, the spy agencies reportedly struggled to find a clear determination on the origins of the Wuhan virus.
The intelligence community is expected to declassify certain portions of the report for public use, but it is unclear when that will occur.
In addition to Communist China’s refusal to disclose important data, which they deny and blame the United States for, some House Republicans are worried about the role the National Institutes of Health might have played in the lack of transparency surrounding the Wuhan lab.
Just this week, House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Subcommittee on Health Republican Leader Brett Guthrie, and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Republican Leader Morgan Griffith sent a letter to NIH Director Francis Collins asking about his agency’s role in funding dangerous virus research.
“We have significant concerns that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has not been adequately meeting its oversight responsibilities over the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) grant R01AI110964, ‘Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence,’” the letter says.
The NIH has previously “ignored” any requests for further information about the “NIAID officials involved with this grant and responsibility for oversight of the WIV,” such as Dr. Ping Chen and Dr. Erik Stemmy. Now the GOP wants answers on the “biosafety practices and BSL level of labs that were involved with the WIV research” and is asking, “[W]hy is NIAID continuing to fund EcoHealth Alliance through other cooperative agreements?”
“In addition to potentially inadequately assessing the inherent risks of the WIV research supported by NIH’s grant, we are also concerned that the NIH failed to oversee biosafety concerns at the WIV. The WIV is a complex of laboratories with various Biosafety Level (BSL) levels up to a BSL-4, the most secure biosafety level laboratory. However, under the R01AI110964 grant, the WIV researchers specifically reported performing coronavirus research in BSL-2 laboratories. Yet, risky coronavirus research should have been conducted in a laboratory with higher safety measures,” the letter states.
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