“The book described how to create weaponized chimeric SARS coronaviruses, the potentially broader scope for their use compared to traditional bioweapons, and the benefits of being able to plausibly deny that such chimeric coronaviruses were artificially created rather than naturally occurring,” the report states.
Challenging the Intelligence CommunityThe lawmaker noted that an update to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)’s declassified assessment (pdf) of the origins of COVID-19 released in October 2021 did not address important information that indicates the Chinese regime’s interest in offensive bioweapons.
Lack of CooperationThe lawmaker highlighted that China has consistently failed to cooperate with investigations into the origins of COVID-19.
“When they finally did let people come to China, they really didn’t let them into the lab and to see everything. As a matter of fact, they [investigation group] had to be held in quarantine for one or two weeks before they even got to have a conversation,” he said, referring to a team of World Health Organization-recruited scientists who visited China in early 2021 to probe the pandemic origins.
“And interestingly, the only person they would allow from America was a gentleman named Peter Daszak, who was with EcoHealth Alliance, who was getting NIH [National Institutes of Health] funding, and then working with the Chinese on coronavirus type of research,” he added.
Daszak is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit that has drawn considerable scrutiny over funneling federal funding to the WIV for research on coronaviruses, which some experts say amounted to gain-of-function research.
Further InvestigationWenstrup said that the committee would continue to probe the pandemic origins, especially after the Republicans take the gavel in the new year.
“We hope to move forward from here and bring people forward that have been involved with [the Wuhan] Institute of Virology, and any other people that have done this type of science and get their opinions and get knowledge,” he said.
“These are always the concerns when it comes to weapons. So we need to continue to delve in that direction. And as the Intelligence Committee, we have the responsibility of oversight and to be aware of the national security threats that may be out there,” he added.
It’s important to get to the bottom of this question so as to prevent future pandemics from emerging, the congressman said.
“As a physician, I can tell you this is important because we have to know about lab security around the world and for our own sake; we also have to do more to make sure that we are prepared if something like this should ever happen again,” he said.
The Epoch Times has reached out to EcoHealth Alliance and ODNI for comments.