On Wednesday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) vigorously criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci for his reluctance to accept the idea that COVID originated from a laboratory leak in Wuhan, China.
“He was trying to cover his backside, and everybody knows it,” Jordan stated during a hearing of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. “And that’s the part that ticks us off.”
“This is the highest-paid guy in our government getting all kinds of money to tell us things that were not accurate,” he continued. “We now know U.S. tax dollars went to a lab in China, a lab that was not up to code, a lab that was doing gain-of-function research, and that’s where this thing most definitely came from.”
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) March 8, 2023
According to reports, recent intelligence prompted the Energy Department to reevaluate its position on the origin of the pandemic, now expressing "low confidence" that it likely originated from a lab leak. This marks a departure from their previous stance of being undecided. Certain scientists and a significant number of Republicans have maintained for some time that the virus came from a lab, with allegations that China has attempted to conceal the truth, which Beijing has refuted. However, other U.S. agencies and a preliminary World Health Organization assessment from 2021 have been more inclined towards the natural emergence theory, a viewpoint that Fauci has supported.
Having served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for many years, Fauci played a prominent role in the federal government's response to COVID during both the Trump and Biden administrations. He went on to become President Joe Biden's principal medical adviser and remained in this position until he retired from government service at the end of last year.
Republicans who have committed to scrutinizing Fauci have placed considerable emphasis on the federal funding of bat coronavirus research connected to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Despite Fauci's vehement denial that this research constituted gain-of-function research, investigators have also taken an interest in funds that were allocated to other areas.
Jordan covered a lot of ground in his five-minute speech, outlining a timeline of events that occurred during the early stages of the pandemic in 2020. He voiced his skepticism regarding two prominent virologists who appeared to have shifted their stance from supporting the lab leak theory to opposing it, without any new scientific evidence. Jordan suggested that a potential reason for this change of heart could be linked to a grant of approximately $9 million. “There’s 9 million reasons why they changed their mind,” Jordan quipped.
In addition, Jordan discussed the government's COVID task force and its decision to exclude former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, who testified at the hearing on Wednesday, for having a divergent perspective on not immediately dismissing the possibility that COVID originated from a lab leak. Jordan accused the task force of leaving Redfield "out of the loop."
“Keeping him out of the loop probably — potentially could have harmed America —” Jordan said. He paused and then continued, “That’s the thing that ticks us all off,” he went on to say before expressing how important it is to get to the bottom of COVID’s origins.
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