by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
House Republicans have made inroads into unraveling some of the mysteries surrounding the origins of COVID-19 three years after the pandemic swept the world.
The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic was tasked with investigating the origins of COVID-19 in early January 2023 under the leadership of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Since then, Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) has overseen several developments in not only identifying the source of the pandemic but also strengthening mechanisms to prevent emergencies of a similar magnitude. …
… The select subcommittee spent significant time this year investigating the writing and publication of the scientific paper, “The proximal origins of SARS-CoV-2,” published in Nature Medicine in March 2020, that discredited the lab leak theory.
In June, the select subcommittee subpoenaed the paper’s authors and produced a detailed report outlining the involvement of the National Institutes of Health in the initial research stages of the paper’s publication.
Communications between the paper’s authors in late January 2020 indicated they initially believed the virus came from a lab accident, but the authors quickly changed their perspective following a phone call with top NIH and World Health Organization officials on Feb. 1, 2020.
On the call was then-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, then-NIH Director Francis Collins, then-NIH Ethics Director Lawrence Tabak, and World Health Organization Chief Medical Scientist Jeremy Farrar, then the director of the Wellcome Trust.
Kristian Andersen and Robert Garry, two of the authors of the paper, testified before the select subcommittee in July and denied any conspiracy to distort evidence to discredit the lab leak theory.
Following this testimony, the Department of Health and Human Services has persistently stonewalled congressional investigations into the origins of the virus, with staff claiming that the HHS does not have the manpower or technical resources to comply with information requests.