Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member, brought the heat at Tuesday's hearing on the origins of Covid-19.
While at the hearing, he highlighted the pattern of deception exhibited by Dr. Anthony Fauci, former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
In an exchange with former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, he dove into Fauci’s patently dishonest record of statements on SARS-CoV-2 origins.
"Once you became director, did Dr. Fauci relay any of these concerns to you?" Rep. Comer asked.
"He didn't," Ratcliffe replied.
"That it may have come from a lab?" Comer clarified.
"He did not," Ratcliffe reiterated.
"Why do you think he did not?" Comer asked.
"Well, that would I would obviously have to to speculate, but I would point you to Dr. Fauci being perhaps the best person to answer that," Ratcliffe replied. "And there is publicly available — under information that has been obtained through open sources and freedom of information — where Dr. Fauci and other virologists and and scientists talk about the fact that it would bring unwanted attention to funding sources and the research that was taking place using funding sources, domestic funding sources from the United States and the relationship of certain Western scientists with scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where unsafe coronavirus research was taking place in labs that did not have appropriate biosafety levels and precautions as had been reported."
"Wow. This is so bad," Comer proclaimed. "It just gets worse every day."
"These scientists flipped 180 degrees with no new evidence, produced a paper not based on facts, and then may have used that paper to brief the intelligence community and suppress the lab leak hypothesis," he continued. "This is a how-to manual in orchestrating a coverup by using some of the most powerful and influential institutions in our country."
"If you ask me, this was set in motion by Dr. Fauci to hide US funding of gain of function research and dodge accountability for a virus that has killed more than 1 million Americans," he went on. "This must be investigated. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I yield back."
Top U.S. Covid experts, such as Dr. Fauci, early in the pandemic dismissed the possibility that the novel coronavirus leaked from a laboratory.
“If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what's out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated," Fauci said.
"Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species."
After more evidence came out that the lab leak theory was "likely," including evidence in reports issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and The Department of Energy, Dr. Fauci changed his tune.
“We may not ever know," Fauci claimed in an interview with The Globe in February 2023.
However, a new report released by the U.S. Senate on Monday has concluded that the COVID-19 virus, known as SARS-CoV-2, originated in a Chinese laboratory, but was allegedly leaked unintentionally.
The 301-page report, produced by a team that included Dr. Robert Kadlec, a former government health official who played a key role in developing COVID-19 vaccines, and staffers on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, was released by Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Ky.), a member of the Senate Health Committee, who chairs the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security.
The report states that the "preponderance of information supports the plausibility of an unintentional research-related incident that likely resulted from failures of biosafety containment during SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-related research."
According to the report, Kadlec's team of consultants spent approximately 18 months investigating the COVID-19 origins and concluded that the available evidence supports a lab leak. The report suggests that there may have been an aerosol leak that caused an infection of lab personnel or that the virus may have been released to the outside environment due to biocontainment failures. One theory mentioned in the report revolves around cleaning agents causing corrosion of welded seams in the lab, as mentioned in multiple 2019 documents on upgrading the lab.
The report also highlights concerns about biosafety at the WIV that have been raised by both domestic and foreign bodies for years. A 2018 U.S. State Department cable, for instance, reported that the then-newly opened biosafety level four lab at the facility had a "serious shortage" of trained technicians to safely operate the lab. Researchers at the lab, before the pandemic, reported experimenting on mice, bats, and palm civets to find coronaviruses that were more capable of infecting humans, and sometimes experimented at sub-biosafety level four conditions.
The report also points to Chinese reports, communications, and notices as support for the lab leak theory, including an attempt in November 2019 to procure an air incinerator at the lab, which suggested "some concern about the risk of an infectious aerosol escape." The report also noted that WIV staffers underwent a remedial biosafety training course that same month.
Furthermore, the report concludes that characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 suggest the virus was manmade, including the presence of a furin cleavage site at the same location that was proposed in a grant proposal by EcoHealth Alliance, an organization that funneled U.S. taxpayer money to scientists in Wuhan.
The House’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Members has uncovered evidence that Dr. Anthony Fauci, former Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation’s top Covid authority, abused his influence to sway researchers away from the “lab leak theory” of the origins of SARS-CoV-2, misled Congress about his role in this investigation, and indeed may have been a principle author of the now-infamous paper, “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2.”
The House subcommittee on March 5 issued a memorandum on its findings that Dr. Fauci had inappropriately influenced the Covid origins researchers, contrary to the researchers’ assertions to the contrary.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and J.D. Vance (R-OH) addressed the issue of accountability for Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“There should be accountability,” Vance said. “It’s that simple.”
“Tony Fauci lied under oath to the American people,” he continued. “And it’s not just that. He compelled and persuaded the FBI to censor information about the pandemic as it was unfolding. He tried to shut down, used his government power, to shut down the functioning of the First Amendment so that we could not have an honest debate about where Covid came from and what to do about it.”
“And I think it’s absolutely disgraceful what Tony Fauci did,” he added. Vance expressed his lack of faith in Attorney General Merrick Garland to do the right thing about it.
Senator Cruz expanded on Vance’s remarks.
“Dr. Fauci has done more damage than any bureaucrat in the history of our nation,” Cruz remarked. “He led policies that destroyed people’s lives, that hurt tens of millions of kids across this country, that destroyed businesses, and he lied repeatedly, over and over and over again. Now, one of the consequences is he elevated politics above science and medicine.”
“There has been no person who has done more to destroy trust in the scientific and medical community than Dr. Anthony Fauci, who told millions of Americans lies willingly, knowingly, glibly, and supremely arrogantly,” Cruz argued. “In any sane system, he would be prosecuted for lying under oath, and he would go to jail for lying under oath to Congress.”
“We have a majority in the House, and I am confident that we’re going to use that majority and use it to hold Dr. Fauci and the others who lied accountable,” Cruz added.
Two seasoned citizens at the Covid accountability hearing on Monday perhaps said it best without saying a word: "Jail Fauci."