House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said of Friday’s anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre that the Chinese have given a similar treatment to COVID-19.
‘As the [Chinese Communist Party] seeks to erase any memory of what happened in Tiananmen Square, it continues to do the same on its responsibility for COVID-19,’ McCarthy said. ‘Americans deserve to know the truth.’
The California Republican said while his party has tried to get answers ‘Democrats have been mired by ambivalence to holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for this global health pandemic.’
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Friday that China was treating the COVID-19 pandemic like they did Tiananmen Square
A Chinese protestor blocks a line of tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests on June 5, 1989
‘Last year showed exactly what kind of actor the Chinese Communist Party truly is,’ he went on.
‘It responded to the outbreak by silencing doctors and imprisoning its citizens. It selfishly hoarded medical supplies and lied to the world, creating a global catastrophe. And from the beginning, it has tried to use the virus as a smokescreen to cover further aggression, from horrific abuses of human rights in Xinjiang to snuffing out democracy in Hong Kong,’ he continued.
‘Unfortunately, its brazen cover-up has been aided for over a year by political bias, groupthink, self-censorship in the global press and public health bureaucracy,’ McCarthy added.
McCarthy’s statement was more generally aimed at China, while his Republican colleagues have stepped up the pressure on Dr. Anthony Fauci demanding access to his unredacted emails and asking that he appear again before House committees to answer questions about whether COVID-19 could have leaked from a Chinese laboratory.
The White House aid Friday that the administration would be open to the idea of a Congressional committee to explore the origins of the early U.S. response to the pandemic. Biden has already put the intelligence committee to work for 90 days to try and determine how the virus got its start.
‘I would say if members of Congress have a discussion and want to have a discussion about that we’re happy to hear from them,’ White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
Fauci is back in the firing line with the release of a trove of emails, revealing that he knew about the possibility of a lab leak early in the pandemic.
His critics seized on them to say he knew more about ‘gain of function’ research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology than he let on.
House Republican whip Steve Scalise and James Comer wrote to the chairs of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus and the House Oversight Committee to say it was ‘imperative’ that Fauci appeared before them.
Senior Republicans have written to their Democratic counterparts demanding that Dr. Anthony Fauci answer fresh questions about evidence revealed in his emails about his knowledge of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic
Rep. Steve Scalise (left), ranking member of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus, wants more answers from Dr. Anthony Fauci (right) following the release of a cache of emails
Security personnel keep watch outside Wuhan Institute of Virology during a visit by a World Health Organization team of investigators in February
They said the release of Fauci’s emails, obtained by news organizations under Freedom of Information laws ‘debunk many Democrats’ claims from the past year, including that Fauci and other scientists were muzzled by the Trump administration.
‘It is now imperative that Dr. Fauci come before our Committees to provide information related to the origins of the novel coronavirus as well as the U.S. government’s role in funding research that may have contributed to the development of the novel coronavirus, they said.
‘The American people have a right to know what our government knew about the origins of the pandemic and when it was known.’
They also called on the committee’s chairman and chairwoman to demand unredacted versions of Fauci’s newly released emails.
The cache triggered an intervention from former President Donald Trump, who said the communications revealed he was right all along.
He demanded that China pay ten trillion dollars for its role in causing ‘death and destruction.’
‘Now everyone, even the so-called “enemy,” are beginning to say that President Trump was right about the China Virus coming from the Wuhan Lab,’ he said in the second of two statements he issued in quick succession.
‘The correspondence between Dr. Fauci and China speaks too loudly for anyone to ignore.’
Fauci has been a favorite target of conservatives throughout the pandemic, attracting fire for his support for social distancing and mask wearing.
They have accused him of flip-flopping for the way he initially resisted closing borders and wearing masks before endorsing both.
But his role in the early days of the crisis is under fresh scrutiny with the release of his emails.
In particular, Republicans claim the communications show Fauci knew the Wuhan Institute of Virology – at the center of the lab leak hypothesis for the origins of the COVID-19 crisis – was carrying out experiments with genetically engineered coronaviruses.
And they include messages in February last year with a key deputy in which they discuss whether his National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases might have ties to the work.
Sen. Rand Paul is among those demanding fresh answers to whether Fauci still stands by his testimony that the U.S. did not fund ‘gain of function’ research on coronaviruses.
Fauci defended his actions, telling CNN on Thursday that the messages had been taken out of context.
And the White House issued a public defense of his work.
For two days straight, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Fauci had the confidence of Biden, saying Friday ‘no’ when asked if there would be any scenario in which the top infectious disease expert would be fired.
During brief remarks in Rehoboth Beach Friday, Biden gave the endorsement himself.
‘Yes I’m very confident in Dr. Fauci,’ the president said to a question posed by DailyMail.com, peaking his head back into the room where he had just delivered an address.
Did coronavirus originate in Chinese government laboratory?
The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been collecting numerous coronaviruses from bats ever since the SARS outbreak in 2002. They have also published papers describing how these bat viruses have interacted with human cells.
US Embassy staff visited the lab in 2018 and ‘had grave safety concerns’ over the protocols which were being observed at the facility.
The lab is just a few miles from the Huanan wet market which is where the first cluster of infections erupted in Wuhan.
The market is just a few hundred yards from another lab called the Wuhan Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (WHCDC). The WHCDC kept disease-ridden animals in its labs, including some 605 bats.
Those who support the theory argue that Covid-19 could have leaked from either or both of these facilities and spread to the wet market. Most argue that this would have been a virus they were studying rather than one which was engineered.
Researchers work in a lab of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province in 2017
Last year a bombshell paper from the Beijing-sponsored South China University of Technology recounted how bats once attacked a researcher at the WHCDC and ‘blood of bat was on his skin.’
The report says: ‘Genome sequences from patients were 96% or 89% identical to the Bat CoV ZC45 coronavirus originally found in Rhinolophus affinis (intermediate horseshoe bat).’
It describes how the only native bats are found around 600 miles away from the Wuhan seafood market and that the probability of bats flying from Yunnan and Zhejiang provinces was minimal.
In addition there is little to suggest the local populace eat the bats as evidenced by testimonies of 31 residents and 28 visitors.
Instead the authors point to research being carried out within 300 yards at the WHCDC.
One of the researchers at the WHCDC described quarantining himself for two weeks after a bat’s blood got on his skin, according to the report. That same man also quarantined himself after a bat urinated on him.
And he also mentions discovering a live tick from a bat – parasites known for their ability to pass infections through a host animal’s blood.
‘The WHCDC was also adjacent to the Union Hospital where the first group of doctors were infected during this epidemic,’ the report says.
‘It is plausible that the virus leaked around and some of them contaminated the initial patients in this epidemic, though solid proofs are needed in future study.’