Why is Team Biden thwarting a bipartisan panel to uncover COVID’s origins?
So 2022 is about to end and still no answer to the question: What caused the virus that’s killed 1,096,000 Americans so far?
The Washington Post asks, “What is China hiding?” The more answerable question is: What is our own government hiding?
House Republicans promise that when they assume the majority in January, they’ll get answers using subpoena power. Better late than never. Learning more about COVID’s origins may be the most consequential outcome of the 2022 midterm election.
The Biden administration apparently doesn’t want answers. After the United States was attacked on 9/11, Congress created an independent panel to get to the bottom of it. In March, the Senate health committee approved plans for a similar 12-member, bipartisan panel of experts with subpoena power.
Former Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who sponsored the bill creating the 9/11 Commission, called on President Joe Biden to support the new effort. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the COVID bill’s cosponsor, made an impassioned appeal for it. But Biden remains silent.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) won’t move it to the floor for a vote, and the White House reportedly is privately resisting it.
What is the president afraid of uncovering? Is he compromised by his family’s lucrative deals in China?
Determining COVID’s origins should not be a partisan mission, but it seems it is. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), who will chair the House Intelligence Committee, vows to expose how the federal government pressured social-media platforms to suppress debate and censor postings suggesting that COVID leaked from a lab. That was an unprecedented assault on America’s freedom of thought.
It’s possible the virus was a biological weapon in development at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Last week, House Republicans released a report charging the US intelligence community with “misleading” the public on “key issues” including possible connections between the Wuhan lab and China’s biological-weapons program. Stay tuned for hearings to uncover these deceptions.
House Republicans also announced they will probe why the National Institutes of Health continues to fund Chinese labs, sending $8.9 million in 2021 and $5.6 million in 2022.
A proposal to prohibit the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from funding labs in China is provoking protests from scientists who say it will discourage global cooperation.
What cooperation? China withheld blood samples of early COVID victims, thwarted a World Health Organization inquiry and muzzled its own scientists. China behaves like the adversary it is. It should have to follow international rules of cooperation and data sharing before it qualifies for funding.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Anthony Fauci told Congress that Chinese scientists working at the Wuhan lab under NIH grants are “very competent, trustworthy.” They may be nice guys and gals, but the Wuhan lab is under the control of the Chinese Communist Party. No one there is free to deal honestly with the United States.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee also pledge to uncover how tax dollars granted to universities here end up funding research projects at China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences Fifth Institute, a known part of Beijing’s bioweapons program. Do you think the Chinese government is sending money to support research at Annapolis or West Point?
Too many scientists and intellectual elites are captives of naïve globalism. Their loyalties are misplaced and their judgment is clouded.
Fauci, in addition, has to cover his own tracks. In September, Fauci’s NIH center awarded $653,392 to EcoHealth Alliance, the nonprofit that used a previous NIH grant from Fauci to fund the research behind the suspected leak.
More money for EcoHealth, even though its CEO, Peter Daszak, has failed to provide the laboratory notebooks and electronic files from Wuhan that could shed light on whatever accident occurred there.
Millions died from COVID, but Fauci’s buddy gets his money.
Fauci and Daszak will be on the hot seat under oath when House Republicans launch hearings in the new Congress.
Thus 2023 may turn out to be the year when grieving Americans finally get answers. Simply moving on is unacceptable.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.
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