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Americans deserve transparency on origins of COVID-19

HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY’S OFFICE – On December 14, Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released a report led by Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-02), in continued pursuit of transparency and accountability on behalf of the American people, on the origins of COVID-19. The report is an unclassified summary of the Committee’s broader classified version, which Republicans will seek to fully declassify in the next Congress.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), Whip Steve Scalise (LA-01), Oversight Ranking Member James Comer (KY-01), Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-
05), and HPSCI Ranking Member Mike Turner (OH-10) released the following statement on the report:

“Every person in America has been directly or indirectly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lives were taken. Livelihoods destroyed. The mismanagement of the response to COVID-19 has led to societal crises like massive education loss for children, drug overdoses across communities, and a stark rise in mental health issues.

“Americans are owed answers about the origins of COVID-19 and future health threats, and they deserve leaders in Washington who remain steadfast in finding the truth.

“The HPSCI report led by Rep. Wenstrup marks significant progress toward that objective. The findings identify more culpability from the Chinese Communist Party, highlight the failures of the Intelligence Community to share pertinent information with the American public and their authorized representatives, and give more credibility to the lab leak theory – which many government officials, Big Tech platforms, and media outlets were quick to label a ‘conspiracy theory.’

“A Republican majority will continue this critical work across all committees of jurisdiction and we commit to finding the facts on a pandemic that negatively impacted millions of American families. By doing so, our policies going forward will strive to ensure that our country is never vulnerable to these threats in the same way again.”

Full report is available here.

Highlights of the report included below:

Investigation revealed serious shortcomings with both the classified and declassified versions of the Intelligence Community’s (IC) Updated Assessment on COVID-19 Origins.

The IC withheld key information from the public in the declassified version of its Updated Assessment, information that could have been shared without damaging national security. These omissions likely
skewed the public’s understanding of key issues.

The Committee believes the IC downplayed important information relating to the possible links between COVID-19 and China’s bioweapons research based in part on input from outside experts.

Findings conclude that there are indications that SARS-CoV-2 may have been tied to China’s biological weapons research program and spilled over to the human population during a lab-related incident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The Committee will seek to declassify the classified version of their report in the next Congress. In addition, the Committee plans to explore all means at its disposal to require the IC to fully cooperate and comply until their requests are met with adequate information.