COVID origins hearing to focus on Fauci’s role in disproving lab leak theory
The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic’s first hearing Wednesday on the origins of COVID-19 will focus on Dr. Anthony Fauci’s role in attempting to “disprove” the lab leak theory as well as ways to prevent a future pandemic from occurring.
The COVID origins hearing will showcase the former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director and health and science experts. It is one of eight hearings that the Oversight Committee is conducting this week aimed at holding the Biden administration accountable.
The hearing comes after the subcommittee said over the weekend it uncovered new email evidence suggesting Fauci prompted the drafting of the “proximal origin” publication meant to “disprove” the COVID-19 lab leak theory.
Subcommittee Chairman Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, told Fox News’ Dana Perino Tuesday that lawmakers will examine emails revealing that Fauci and others were trying to “disprove” the lab leak theory.
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“The plausible explanation seems to be from the lab, and I think more and more people are seeing that,” said Wenstrup, who also sits on the House Intelligence Committee.
“I’ve been gathering a lot of this evidence over the last few years that does have the breadcrumbs leading towards the lab. That’s my opinion at this time. But we want to be able to get to the facts and prove this not only for the American people, but for the world, so that in the future we can predict a pandemic, prepare for a pandemic, protect ourselves from it,” he said.
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“And at the end of the day, if we can prevent one, then better yet, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. And if there were things being done for motives such as personal motives or political motives as opposed to actual science, then we have a problem with our system that we need to correct.”
According to excerpts of the opening statement by subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., obtained by Fox News Digital, he will say that the evidence “remains inconclusive.”
“Therefore, we must allow our scientists and intelligence communities to gather evidence without politicization, extreme partisan rhetoric, or conspiratorial accusations that vilify our nation’s public health experts,” Ruiz will say.
He will also blame Republicans for hosting a witness with troubling past comments on race and ethnicity.
“[T]oday’s hearing marks a concerning step down the path of letting extremism get in the way of an inquiry that should be led by science and facts,” he will say.
Ruiz has previously praised what he said was President Biden’s “sweeping action” on getting to the bottom of the virus’s origins, even though the president previously dismissed the lab leak theory.
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Scrutiny over the initial rejection of the lab leak theory has grown following FBI Director Chris Wray’s admission to Fox News last week.
“The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan,” Wray said in an interview that aired last Tuesday. “Here you are talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab.”
The FBI director also said the Chinese government had “been doing its best to thwart and obfuscate” the FBI’s efforts to investigate.
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The Wenstrup-led subcommittee sent a series of letters last month seeking more information on COVID origins from Fauci, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, White House Acting Science Adviser to the President Dr. Francis Collins and EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak.
Fauci was also asked to sit for a transcribed interview.