A group of House Republicans led by Rep. Chip Roy of Texas are calling on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to direct the committees of jurisdiction to subpoena multiple public health officials — including Dr. Anthony Fauci — to gain answers on the origin of the coronavirus.
In a letter sent to Pelosi on Tuesday, the lawmakers said that they have unsuccessfully attempted to seek information from multiple officials about the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) funding they believe may have been used for gain-of-function research, which can make viruses more infectious.
The group argued that the information is critical for providing oversight and gaining information to prevent future pandemics, noting that the Intelligence Community’s report on the deadly virus’ origin was inconclusive,
“Unfortunately, Members have attempted to get answers from public health officials to no avail. Officials, such as Dr. Fauci, have misled the public about the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) funding of gain-of-function research,” they wrote.
“Similarly, the Biden Administration’s supposed efforts to get answers on COVID-19’s origins were unhelpful as its Intelligence Community declassified report was inconclusive.”
The lawmakers raised concerns that taxpayer dollars may have been funneled to the Wuhan Institute of Virology through non-governmental organization EcoHealth, which they fear may have been used to fund gain-of-function research.
In the letter, the lawmakers argued that Pelosi should urge her committee chairs to subpoena those who may have played a role in “approving, conducting, or funding gain-of-function or related research.”
They are also seeking subpoenas for those who were in contact with “researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology” and “U.S. public health officials” — and listed a host of officials including EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak in addition to Fauci as someone they would like to see testify.
The Republican members took aim at Daszak, alleging that NIAID grant documents pertaining to coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology show that the organization was made aware of potential risks.
They also blasted Daszak for previously releasing a statement condemning theories that the virus could have originated in the lab.
“These documents show that the researchers and NIAID were aware of the risks of human infection due to its research with coronaviruses: ‘Fieldwork involves the highest risk of exposure to SARS or other CoVs, while working in caves with high bat density overhead and the potential for fecal dust to be inhaled,” the letter said.
“There is also some risk of exposure to pathogens…’ Regardless, EcoHealth’s President, Peter Daszak, organized a statement on behalf of Chinese researchers in February 2020 that stated its signatories ‘strongly condemned conspiracy theories suggesting that 2019-nCoV does not have a natural origin,” they added.
The lawmakers asserted they feel Congress, “has the authority and duty to get answers” on the pandemic, noting the economic and emotional impact it has had on countries around the world.
In addition to Roy, Reps. Mike Johnson (La.), Jody Hice (Ga.), Scott Perry (Pa.), Michael Cloud (Texas), Bill Posey (Fla.), Randy Weber (Texas), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Andy Harris (Md.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Greg Steube (Fla.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Dan Bishop (N.C.) and Robert Aderholt (N.C.) signed onto the letter.