House Republicans have vowed to take a series of actions to hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable for its coverup of the COVID-19 outbreak that spurred the global pandemic, and get to the bottom of how the disease started spreading among humans.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on June 23 laid out an eight-pronged plan targeting the communist regime and other bodies to “ensure Americans get the accountability and transparency they deserve.”
“We cannot allow the wrongdoing of China to go unnoticed—And more importantly, to not allow the accountability to happen,” McCarthy said at a press conference in Washington.
The first item on the agenda, McCarthy said, was to introduce legislation compelling the government to declassify intelligence relating to the origins of the CCP virus, the pathogen that causes COVID-19 disease.
President Joe Biden on May 26 ordered the intelligence community to produce a report in 90 days on the origins of the virus, which was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan. He said intelligence agencies are looking at rival theories, including the possibility of a laboratory accident in China.
McCarthy said the House Republican caucus was launching this effort due to reluctance by Democrat members of Congress and the White House to take action to hold the regime to account over its actions relating to the pandemic.
The Biden administration won’t take immediate action on China to pressure the communist regime to allow an independent probe into whether COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan lab, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday.
While the theory that the virus was the result of a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) was labeled a “conspiracy theory” last year, it has recently gained traction as a growing number of scientists and officials have lent credence to the hypothesis.
A January state department fact sheet raised questions about whether the outbreak could have been a result of a lab accident at WIV. It said the United States has “reason to believe” that several WIV researchers became sick with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses in the autumn of 2019. The department also said the lab was conducting secret military experiments on animals since at least 2017, and that it has a history of conducting “gain-of-function” research on viruses. Such research involves creating artificial viruses with new or enhanced capabilities, often to study what new viruses could emerge and how to protect against them.
The GOP House leader also called for a ban on U.S. funding of any gain-of-function research in China and an end to National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for foreign adversaries such as China, North Korea, Iran, and Russia.
NIH Director Francis Collins acknowledged in a statement last month that the NIH and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases “have for many years supported grants to learn more about viruses lurking in bats and other mammals that have the potential to spill over to humans and cause widespread disease,” but denied that either institution “have ever approved any grant that would have supported ‘gain-of-function’ research on coronaviruses that would have increased their transmissibility or lethality for humans.”
Republican lawmakers as well as some Democrat members of Congress have already introduced a spate of bills aimed at holding Beijing and accomplices accountable for its coverup of the pandemic. These include legislation to sanction CCP officials responsible, remove legal protections to nations so Americans can sue the CCP in U.S. courts to recover pandemic-related loss, and to strip the World Health Organization of U.S. funding over its role in aiding the CCP’s coverup by parroting its talking points at the early stages of the pandemic.
McCarthy also wants the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics relocated to another country, as the CCP should not be rewarded with such an honor.
“I think the world should stand together and say that we will not put up with this,” he said. “We will not allow you to kill millions of people around the world, and lie about where it started.”
From The Epoch Times