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U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

08/01/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/02/2021 03:24

McCaul Releases Addendum to Origins of COVID-19 Report

Media Contact 202-225-5021

Washington, D.C. - House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican has released an addendum to his Origins of COVID-19 report released in September 2020. The addendum outlines evidence that points to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) as the source of the outbreak, and outlines some of the many steps researchers at the WIV along with Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance took to cover up the research being done there. It also breaks down how scientific papers written by researchers at the WIV not only prove the WIV was doing dangerous genetic modification research on coronaviruses at unsafe biosafety levels, but also that WIV researchers had the ability to genetically modify coronaviruses as early as 2016 without leaving any trace of that modification.

'As we continue to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe it's time to completely dismiss the wet market as the source of the outbreak. Instead, as this report lays out, a preponderance of the evidence proves that all roads lead to the WIV,' stated Rep. Michael McCaul. 'We know gain-of-function research was happening at the WIV and we know it was being done in unsafe conditions. We also now know the head of the Chinese CDC and the director of the WIV's BSL-4 lab publicly expressed concerns about safety at PRC labs in the summer of 2019. It is our belief the virus leaked sometime in late August or early September 2019. When they realized what happened, Chinese Communist Party officials and scientists at the WIV began frantically covering up the leak, including taking their virus database offline in the middle of the night and requesting more than $1 million for additional security.

'But their coverup was too late - the virus was already spreading throughout the megacity of Wuhan. Within a month, satellite images show a significant uptick in the number of people at hospitals around the WIV with symptoms similar to COVID-19. At the same time, athletes at the Military World Games became sick with symptoms similar to COVID-19. Some of them carried the virus back to their home countries - creating one of the earliest super spreader events in the world, and explaining how countries who participated in the games had reported cases as early as November 2019.

'It is also concerning the scientific community told the American people for more than a year it was impossible to modify a virus without leaving a trace when this technology existed more than 14 years before the pandemic began. As this report lays out, researchers at the WIV were also able to successfully modify coronaviruses without leaving a trace as early as 2016. Therefore it is no longer appropriate for anyone to dismiss the notion this virus could have been genetically modified before it leaked from the WIV.

'Now is the time to use all of the tools the U.S. government has to continue to root out the full truth of how this virus came to be. That includes subpoenaing Peter Daszak to appear before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to answer the many questions his inconsistent - and in some instances outright and knowingly inaccurate - statements have raised. It also includes Congress passing legislation to sanction scientists at the WIV and CCP officials who participated in this coverup. This was the greatest coverup of all time and has caused the deaths of more than four million people around world, and people must be held responsible.'

Highlights from The Origins of COVID-19 Report Addendum

There were significant concerns about the lax safety protocols in PRC labs, including from the head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and the head of the WIV's BSL-4 lab.

There were multiple requests for maintenance at the WIV, including in their new facility that was less than two years old. Some of those requests included maintenance on 'environmental air disinfection system' and 'hazardous waste treatment system' - which would indicate concerns about how these systems meant to prevent lab leaks were functioning.

Scientists at the WIV were conducting gain-of-function research at BSL-2 and BSL-3 safety levels. A BSL-2 lab has the same safety protocols as a dentist's office.

Scientists have been able to genetically modify coronaviruses without leaving a trace of that modification since 2005. Scientists at the WIV successfully modified coronaviruses without leaving a trace as early as 2016 - three years prior to the outbreak.

At the request of WIV researchers, Peter Daszak attempted to hide his close association with the WIV while he referred to anyone in the scientific community who said a lab leak should be investigated as promoting a 'conspiracy theory.'

Shi Zhengli has repeatedly lied about:

  • The gain-of-function research being done at the WIV;
  • The People's Liberation Army's presence at the WIV;
  • The timing of when she sequenced the virus that is the closest known relative to SARS-CoV-2 in order to hide what they knew about that virus prior to the pandemic;
  • Safety protocols being followed when they were not; and
  • Why the WIV took their virus database offline on September 12, 2019.