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Politics GOP senators call for HHS and NIH to hand over records on COVID-19 origins and Wuhan lab

03:10  15 june  2021
03:10  15 june  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

Trump deputy national security adviser calls for COVID origins commission

  Trump deputy national security adviser calls for COVID origins commission A former Trump deputy national security adviser said that the “preponderance of circumstantial evidence” points toward an accidental leak from a Wuhan lab as he called for a bipartisan congressional commission to investigate the origins of COVID-19 and for a ban on gain-of-function research. © Provided by Washington Examiner Matthew Pottinger, who served on the National Security Council during the Trump administration, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, at which he was asked by Sen.

Wuhan , Hubei province, China. © Reuters / Thomas Peter. Follow RT on. US President Joe Biden revealed on Sunday that he and other leaders in the G7 spoke about gaining access to the laboratories in Wuhan , China to determine whether Covid - 19 was the result of a Chinese experiment gone wrong. During a press conference at the G7 conference in Cornwall, England on Sunday, Biden called on China to start acting “more responsibly in terms of international norms on human rights and transparency.”

GOP lawmakers lashed out at White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci Wednesday after a bevy of his emails from the early days of the coronavirus pandemic were made public. Many Republicans focused their ire on the fact that Fauci received messages in early 2020 warning that Greene followed that tweet by posting an image of herself wearing a black mask bearing the words “Fire Fauci.” Several lawmakers are questioning Dr. Anthony Fauci’s role in investigating the origins of COVID - 19 . Pacific Coast News / Greg Nash – Pool via CNP. “Big Tech was censoring posts about the

Five Senate Republicans are urging the leaders of the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health to hand over records related to the origins of COVID-19 and China's Wuhan Institute of Virology following recent revelations within heavily-redacted emails from Dr. Anthony Fauci.

a man wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

Sen. Ron Johnson, ranking member on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, along with Sens. Josh Hawley, James Lankford, Rand Paul, and Rick Scott, sent a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and NIH Director Francis Collins on Monday. In the letter, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee members wrote they wanted answers about NIH’s “handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

WHO-China COVID-19 origins team labeled lab leak concerns 'conspiracy theories'

  WHO-China COVID-19 origins team labeled lab leak concerns 'conspiracy theories' Meeting minutes from discussions between Wuhan lab scientists and the WHO-China COVID-19 origins joint study team reveal lab leak concerns were referred to as “rumors,” “myths,” and “conspiracy theories.” © Provided by Washington Examiner The Trump and Biden administrations cast doubt on the joint study by Chinese government-linked scientists and international scientists organized under the auspices of the World Health Organization that was conducted early this year. The WHO-China report said a lab leak was “extremely unlikely” and that a jump from animals to animals to humans was most likely.

Just over a year ago, when Covid - 19 infections were rising in the US, former President Donald Trump started to promote a then-fringe theory that the virus had escaped from a lab in Wuhan , the Chinese city where it was first detected. Beijing reacted angrily to the claim, accusing Trump of Naturally, that's drawn the ire of Beijing -- again -- and prompted it to renew a counter-conspiracy theory that the virus actually started in the US. "The US doesn't care about facts or truth at all, neither is it interested in a serious scientific study on the origins . Its only aim is to use the pandemic for stigmatization and

Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) director Wang Yanyi described the theory – that SARS-CoV-2 was a creature of her laboratory – as “pure fabrication.” She explained that the institute was effectively caught off-guard when learning about the newly discovered contagion. That assessment generally coincides with the view of Washington’s closest allies – let alone the United States’ own intelligence community – which has already ruled out the possibility of Covid - 19 being a man-made disease. Beijing, for its part, has signaled its readiness to cooperate on identifying Covid - 19 ’s origins

“The recent release of approximately 4,000 pages of NIH email communications and other documents from early 2020 has raised serious questions about NIH’s handling of COVID-19,” the GOP letter said. “Between June 1 and June 4, 2021, the news media and public interest groups released approximately 4,000 pages of NIH emails and other documents these organizations received through Freedom of Information Act requests. These documents, though heavily redacted, have shed new light on NIH’s awareness of the virus’ origins in the early stages of the COVID19 pandemic.”

Newly released emails from early 2020 sent by Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, show he seemed aware of the looming gain-of-function research and Chinese collaboration controversies. They also indicate Fauci worked behind the scenes to promote the natural origins hypothesis.

Uncovering the origins of the virus that sparked a pandemic

  Uncovering the origins of the virus that sparked a pandemic Unlocking the mysteries of the exact origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 and launched a global pandemic in March 2020, has become one of the most burning questions in the scientific community. But the effort, like so many other coronavirus-related issues, has become hotly contested, fraught with implications for international relations and, in the United States at least, laced with conspiracy theories and politically motivated posturing.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology’s decision to wipe the NIH from its website came amidst heightened scrutiny that the lab was the source of COVID - 19 – and that U.S. taxpayer dollars from the NIH may have funded the research. The unearthing of the lab ’s attempted coverup also follows a heated The results indicate that group 2b viruses encoding the SHC014 spike in a wild-type backbone can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of

There’s a lot of cloudiness around the origins of COVID - 19 still. So I wanted to ask are you still confident that COVID developed naturally? Dr. Fauci: No actually, that’s the point that I said. And I think that the real unfortunate aspect of what Senator Paul did was he was conflating research in a We now know that Senator Paul was 100% correct on his assertions during his Senate testimony. And we now know that Dr. Anthony Fauci LIED while testifying to the senate committee. He was not under oath but the same rules apply during any senatorial testimony. Fauci funded the Wuhan labs that leaked

EVIDENCE MOUNTS WUHAN LAB STUDIED LIVE BATS DESPITE DENIALS

EcoHealth Alliance received at least $3.7 million from NIH from 2014 to 2020, and Peter Daszak — a key member of the World Health Organization-China joint study team — maintained a long collaborative relationship with Wuhan lab “bat lady” Shi Zhengli, steering at least $600,000 in NIH funding to that lab for bat coronavirus research. He also criticized the Biden administration earlier this year for appearing skeptical of the WHO’s findings and defended China to Chinese Communist Party-linked outlets.

U.S. Embassy officials in China raised concerns in 2018 about lax biosecurity at the Wuhan lab.

The new GOP letter noted an email from Jan. 9, 2020, in which Fauci senior scientific adviser David Morens asked Daszak for “any inside info on this new coronavirus that isn’t yet in the public domain.”

The letter also pointed to a Jan. 27, 2020, message from Daszak to Morens with the subject line: “Wuhan novel coronavirus – NIAID’s role in bat-origin Covs” and the message, “Happy to have a phone call re: the Wuhan CoV, but just wanted to mention a few things for your information and hopefully to pass on to Tony Fauci for when he’s being interviewed re. the new CoV: NIAID has been funding coronavirus research for the past 5 years… Collaborators include Wuhan Institute of Virology (currently working on the nCoV) and Ralph Baric.”

Evidence mounts Wuhan lab studied live bats despite denials

  Evidence mounts Wuhan lab studied live bats despite denials Evidence that includes newly unearthed Chinese government video continues to mount indicating the Wuhan Institute of Virology studied live bats in its lab, despite longtime lab collaborator Peter Daszak calling this a “conspiracy theory."Footage obtained and released by the Australian and Sky News was purportedly shot from inside the Wuhan lab and shows live bats kept in cages. The video was reportedly produced and released by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2017 to tout the opening and launch of the Wuhan lab’s then-new biosafety level four laboratory.

from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. From my perspective, your comments are brave, and coming from your trusted voice, will help dispel the myths being spun around the virus’ origins . Once this pandemic’s over I look forward thanking you in person and let you know how important your Peter Daszak (R), Thea Fischer (L) and other members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the COVID - 19 coronavirus, arrive at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province on February 3, 2021. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

Researchers from China's Wuhan Institute of Virology became so ill in November 2019 that they required hospital treatment, the Wall Street Journal has reported as the international community continues to probe Covid - 19 's origins . According to a US intelligence report cited by the paper, three staff The previously undisclosed report comes amid growing debate over how the pandemic began. Beijing has strenuously denied that the laboratory played any role in the international health crisis. In March, a team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report after visiting

The Republican letter highlighted the fact Fauci sent an email to NIH Principal Deputy Director Hugh Auchincloss on Feb. 1, 2020, with an attachment labeled “Baric, Shi et al - Nature medicine - SARS Gain of function.pdf” and the subject line, “IMPORTANT.” Fauci’s message had a tone of urgency, saying, “Hugh: It is essential that we speak this AM. Keep your cell phone on... Read this paper as well as the e-mail that I will forward to you now. You will have tasks today that must be done.”

Auchincloss replied to Fauci, saying, The paper you sent me says the experiments were performed before the gain of function pause but have since been reviewed and approved by NIH. Not sure what that means since Emily is sure that no Coronavirus work has gone through the P3 framework ... She will try to determine if we have any distant ties to this work abroad.”

Fauci replied: “OK. Stay tuned.”

After a pause in 2014, HHS announced the Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight Framework in 2017, which was ostensibly set up to review any grants that might involve gain-of-function research. But, the 2019 renewal of EcoHealth grants was not subjected to the P3CO review.

Top Trump officials pushed the Covid-19 lab-leak theory. Investigators had doubts.

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During a Senate hearing, Paul pointed to the work between Baric and Shi as evidence of U.S. support for gain-of-function research in China and asked, “Dr. Fauci, do you still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?”

Fauci replied, “Sen. Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect — that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

He added, “Dr. Baric is not doing gain-of-function research, and if it is, it is according to the guidelines, and it is being conducted in North Carolina, not in China … If you look at the grant and you look at the progress reports, it's not gain-of-function.”

An article in Nature Medicine published in 2015 following a study by Baric, Shi, and others noted, “Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014.”

An “editor’s note” added to the article in March 2020 added, “We are aware that this article is being used as the basis for unverified theories that the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 was engineered. There is no evidence that this is true; scientists believe that an animal is the most likely source of the coronavirus.”

Baric was among several scientists who signed a letter in Science magazine in May arguing "theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable."

Health watchdog is investigating NIH grants amid mounting Wuhan lab questions

  Health watchdog is investigating NIH grants amid mounting Wuhan lab questions The top watchdog for the Department of Health and Human Services has launched an investigation into the National Institutes of Health’s research funding following calls from Republicans to scrutinize funds ending up at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. © Provided by Washington Examiner The NIH’s RePORTER website said the agency has provided $15.2 million to the EcoHealth Alliance over the years, with $3.

The Republican senators said Monday that “in order to better assist Congress in performing its oversight function,” HHS and NIH should hand over “all records” involving Fauci, Collins, Daszak, Baric, Shi, Auchincloss, Morens, and other Chinese and international scientists “referring or relating to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, COVID-19, coronavirus, EcoHealth Alliance, or Dr. Baric’s 2015 coronavirus study.”

A State Department fact sheet in January contended Wuhan lab researchers “conducted experiments involving RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar)” and that the lab “has a published record of conducting ‘gain-of-function’ research to engineer chimeric viruses.”

The fact sheet said the lab “engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military” and that lab workers became sick with COVID-19-like symptoms in autumn 2019.

“It is unclear the extent to which NIH officials, including Dr. Fauci, considered the possibility that the virus originated in a laboratory and what, if any, actions they took to seriously investigate this possibility,” the new GOP letter contends. “It is also unclear why NIAID officials eventually decided to downplay the likelihood that the virus originated in a laboratory and, instead, promote that it originated naturally.”

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The GOP letter asked for “complete and unredacted copies of all documents and communications responsive” to Freedom of Information Act requests made by the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, and Judicial Watch. It also requested similar FOIA requests by other organizations and outlets related to U.S. government officials, the Wuhan lab, and other coronavirus-related issues, which are listed on NIH’s online FOIA log.

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Citing legal authorities, the Republican senators asked for the information “as soon as possible” but no later than the end of the business day on June 25.

Last year, Fauci laughed off the possibility that COVID-19 escaped from a lab, arguing "a number of very qualified evolutionary biologists have said that everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that it evolved in nature and then jumped species."

However, Fauci said last month he was unsure about whether he was still confident COVID-19 emerged naturally.

The U.S. intelligence community said at least one of its 18 agencies is leaning toward the lab leak hypothesis, and Biden ordered all of the spy agencies to “redouble” their investigative efforts last month. Those findings are expected to be delivered to Biden later this summer.

Tags: News

Original Author: Jerry Dunleavy

Original Location: GOP senators call for HHS and NIH to hand over records on COVID-19 origins and Wuhan lab

Wuhan Lab Video Appearing to Show Bats in Cages Fuels Speculation About Pandemic Origins .
The footage, said to have been taken from inside a Wuhan lab, was unearthed by a team of self-described "underground detectives" who say they are dedicated to exposing the origins of COVID-19.A team of self-described "underground researchers," who told Newsweek they are dedicated to exposing the origins of COVID-19, unearthed the footage.

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