Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said former President Donald Trump would have won the 2020 election if investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and whether it escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, were not politicized.
“If COVID-19 had come about due to a Chinese lab leak, the top question on voters’ minds in the 2020 election would have become who was going to stand up to China. Which candidate would hold the Chinese accountable for unleashing the COVID-19 plague on the world?” wrote Graham for Fox News on Thursday.
As a result, Graham argued, “Americans would have demanded a tougher line against the Chinese communist regime and would have been looking for a Commander in Chief to lead the charge,” and “there is no doubt in my mind this would have benefitted President Trump much more than Joe Biden.”
Trump early on began saying that COVID-19 “came from China” and sometimes called it the “Chinese virus” while highlighting how the virus emerged near the laboratory in Wuhan.
And, according to Graham, “instead of validating President Trump’s concerns, the scientists’ early dismissal created a narrative that President Trump was out of touch and spreading right-wing conspiracy theories,” while it was a “narrative that the elite media, who hated President Trump with a burning passion, was only too happy to help spread.”
Trump’s handling of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic was the subject of scrutiny and controversy during the 2020 campaign, with media outlets repeatedly highlighting the number of virus deaths and cases reported each day.
“If it were known in February that Trump was right [in] 2020, I think he’d be president today,” Graham told Fox News on Wednesday night.
In recent days, however, U.S. intelligence officials have increasingly signaled that they support the theory that the virus emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the only P-4 lab in China. Researchers at the facility had long studied coronaviruses, including ones from bats.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed to The Epoch Times on June 3 that when he attempted to launch an investigation into the origins of the CCP virus and how it spread from China to the United States, he was met with significant opposition from within the federal government.
“I became aware at the end of 2020 that we now had an increased level of confidence in the datapoints that supported what we put out in the middle of January. The clock was clearly running, and I was fighting very hard inside the State Department and even more broadly,” Pompeo said.
But he said that intelligence agencies at the time held evidence from him.
“There were places outside of the State Department that owned the dataset inside the intelligence community, so we were banging away to get them to give us as much space to write as much as we possibly could,” Pompeo continued. “We were drafting language that protected classified things that needed to be protected but we wanted to make sure that we got this information out in the public space.”
The Wuhan lab leak hypothesis started gaining more traction after President Joe Biden announced last month that the 17-agency Intelligence Community will deliver a report on whether the CCP virus emerged from the facility within 90 days.
Days later, after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from several news outlets, hundreds of emails belonging to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Anthony Fauci were released, with some linking Fauci to the Wuhan laboratory via the EcoHealth Alliance nonprofit that, according to federal records, had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money from NIAID. Fauci has categorically denied that the money was used to conduct controversial “gain-of-function” research on coronaviruses.