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Politics Moderate Democrats call for 9/11-style panel to probe COVID-19 origins

00:28  15 july  2021
00:28  15 july  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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Eric Swalwell, the ranking Democrat on the CIA subcommittee of the House Intelligence Committee, are introducing legislation Wednesday to create a “National Commission on Foreign Interference in the 2016 Election.” Like the 9 / 11 commission, the panel would be bipartisan and independent, with 12 An international expedition abandoned its attempt to scale Mount Everest on Saturday, citing risks posed by an increasing number of COVID - 19 cases at the base camp, the organisers said. Some climbers were evacuated from Everest base camp in April after they fell ill with COVID - 19 symptoms as Nepal

11 terrorist event, and called on Monday for the creation of an independent commission to probe Russia's attempts to intervene in the 2016 election, similar to the Sept. 11 panel that probed the 2001 attacks on the United States. While a few Republicans, notably Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, have supported calls for an independent probe , party leaders have resisted the idea, saying that investigations by Republican-led congressional committees are sufficient, perhaps sensing that Trump would hardly back such an aggressive overture against the Kremlin.

A bloc of moderate House Democrats on Wednesday called for the creation of a bipartisan, 9/11-style commission to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 virus in China and assess the United States' response to the pandemic that killed more than 600,000 Americans.

a group of people looking at a phone: Moderate Democrats call for 9/11-style panel to probe COVID-19 origins © Greg Nash Moderate Democrats call for 9/11-style panel to probe COVID-19 origins

Leaders of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and their GOP counterparts urging them to pass legislation that would establish a national COVID-19 commission.

The origins of the coronavirus are still unknown.

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Democratic members of the U.S. Congress called on Monday for the creation of an independent commission to investigate Russia's attempts to intervene in the 2016 election, similar to the Sept. 11 panel that probed the 2001 attacks on the United States. Their "Protecting our Democracy Act" would create a 12-member, bipartisan independent panel to interview witnesses, obtain documents, issue subpoenas and receive public testimony to COVID - 19 restrictions probably made it more challenging for immigration officers to process applications, especially paper-based applications, he said.

Advertisement. News. Coronavirus: Scientists call for COVID - 19 origin probe . Despite a World Health Organization report ruling out a laboratory leak to have caused the outbreak, scientists believe not enough evidence has been provided on the origins of the coronavirus. The closest relative of the virus that causes COVID - 19 was found in bats. Further clarity about the origins of the novel coronavirus is necessary and possible to reach, a group of scientists said in a letter published Thursday. A joint investigation by the World Health Organization and China had concluded that SARS-CoV-2 was likely

Many scientists and the World Health Organization suspect the virus was transferred to humans at an animal market in Wuhan, China. But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other Republicans believe that the virus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, and they've accused President Biden and congressional Democrats of giving cover to China and failing to get to the bottom of the pandemic mystery.

At Biden's direction, the U.S. intelligence community has been assigned to probe the matter and report back to the president by August. But the Blue Dogs' letter Wednesday suggests the GOP attacks on Democrats, particularly vulnerable ones with tough reelections in 2022, have been effective.

"The commission would examine how COVID-19 emerged and spread in the United States; evaluate the United States' preparedness for and response to the pandemic; and issue a report providing Congress, the President, and the American people with a full accounting of what occurred and recommending concrete steps the U.S. public and private sector can take to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the harmful impact of future pandemics," the Blue Dog leaders wrote to House and Senate leadership.

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The Front Line COVID - 19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) and other ivermectin researchers have repeatedly offered expert analyses to respectfully correct and rebut the PHA recommendations, based on our deep study and rapidly accumulated expertise “in the field” on the use of ivermectin to treat COVID - 19 . The following accounting and analysis of the WHO ivermectin panel ’s highly irregular and inexplicable analysis of the ivermectin evidence supports but one rational explanation: the GDG Panel had a predetermined, nonscientific objective, which is to recommend against ivermectin.

Liang Wannian, China's senior COVID - 19 expert, denied this and appeared to rule out any further joint investigations in China, saying the focus should shift to other countries. Metzl said the world might have to "revert to Plan B" and conduct an investigation "in the most systematic way possible" without China's involvement. China has rejected allegations that SARS-CoV-2 leaked from a research laboratory in Wuhan, the city where COVID - 19 was first identified. The joint China-WHO study said the lab leak was "extremely unlikely", saying there was "no record" that any laboratory had kept SARS-CoV-2-related

"The purpose of the commission would not be to point fingers or assign blame, but rather to make the United States stronger and more resilient if we face another pandemic."

The Blue Dogs also took direct aim at Beijing: "Understanding exactly how COVID-19 originated and how its initial spread began is critical to creating an accurate historical account of the pandemic and is vital to helping the United States prepare for future pandemics. The Chinese government will predictably object to this effort to learn the truth. Its objections should be noted and then disregarded."

Similar to the bipartisan panel Congress created to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the COVID-19 commission would be comprised of 10 "well-respected individuals, five appointed by Democrats and five by Republicans."

So far, Pelosi has shown little interest in forming a national commission on COVID-19. She did launch a special House committee last year to oversee trillions of dollars in COVID-19 relief aid.

The letter was signed by the four co-chairs of the Blue Dogs, Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Tom O'Halleran (D-Ariz.), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) and Ed Case (D-Hawaii); as well as Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.).

Three others not involved with the Blue Dogs also signed: Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus.

The Blue Dogs said legislation co-authored by Murphy and the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, Rep. John Katko of New York, could serve as a template for a bill forming the COVID-19 commission.

White House blasts China's 'dangerous' rejection of coronavirus origins study .
The White House on Thursday called China's rejection of a second phase of the World Health Organization's (WHO) investigation into the origins of the coronavirus "irresponsible" and "dangerous.""We are deeply disappointed. Their position is irresponsible and frankly dangerous," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters when asked about Beijing's rejection of the investigation, which would examine the possibility the virus emerged from a laboratory.

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