Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on Sunday said it was “more likely than not” that COVID-19 originated from a lab accident, calling it the “worst cover-up in human history.”
“I do think it’s more likely than not it emerged out of the lab, most likely accidentally,” McCaul said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“Let me say, this is the worst cover-up in human history that we’ve seen resulting in 3.5 million deaths, creating economic devastation around the globe.”
His remarks come amid calls for a deeper probe into the origins of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus following widespread concerns that the pandemic may have been sparked by a laboratory accident in China’s central city of Wuhan. President Joe Biden has ordered the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) to ramp up efforts to investigate the virus’s origins.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted last week that he’s now “not convinced” that COVID-19 developed naturally, and called for a deeper investigation into its origins.
Early reports about an outbreak of the CCP virus first appeared in Wuhan in late 2019, when a cluster of cases was reported by state-controlled media to be linked to a local wet market. More than a year later, the origins of the virus remain unknown, although the possibility that the virus leaked from a laboratory at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is now receiving wider recognition.
The Wall Street Journal reported on May 23 that three researchers at the WIV were hospitalized in November 2019 with symptoms consistent with seasonal flu and COVID-19. The newspaper cited unnamed U.S. government sources familiar with a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report.
“That was suppressed by the Chinese Communist Party,” McCaul said, referring to the hospitalizations of the three researchers.
McCaul said Biden’s calls for a deeper probe into the origins of the CCP virus were “long overdue,” and called on the United States to “pull our supply chain” out of China as a “punitive” response.
“My response to this whole thing is supply chain. We need to pull our supply chain out of the region, that being medical supply, rare earth mineral supply,” the lawmaker said.
He also warned that the president’s investigation could be inconclusive because “they [Beijing] have destroyed everything at the lab.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, said on May 24 that the Biden administration has “repeatedly called for the WHO to support an expert-driven evaluation of the pandemic’s origins that is free from interference or politicization.”
“Now, there were phase one results that came through. We were not—during that first phase of the investigation, there was not access to data, there was not information provided. And now, we’re hopeful that WHO can move into a more transparent, independent phase two investigation,” Psaki said.
Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.