Is origin of COVID-19 really the ‘worst cover-up in human history?’

michael mccaul covid cover-up china
Photo via Ed Schipul/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A Texas Congressman, who is the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is calling the origin of COVID-19 the “worst cover-up in human history.”

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper on the May 30 edition of State of the Union, is contending that the virus that caused a massive global pandemic originated in a Wuhan, China lab. He is corresponding with President Joe Biden’s call to reinvigorate investigations of that theory—which is at odds with what China has maintained regarding the virus.

“You know, I do think it’s more likely than not it emerged out of the lab. Most likely accidentally,” McCaul told Tapper. “This is the worst cover-up in human history that we’ve seen resulting in 3.5 million deaths, creating an economic devastation around the globe.”

CNN pointed out, in its coverage of the story, that McCaul made his statement “without providing evidence to support his claim.”

Biden’s call for an investigation followed the news, as reported by Nautilus, of a U.S. intelligence report asserting “that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China fell ill and required hospitalization in November 2019, adding to speculation that the COVID-19 virus escaped from the lab.”

Biden called for a new 90-day intelligence review on May 26 to explore the virus’ origins, with the possibility that it escaped the lab in Wuhan, rather than the prevailing theory that the virus was spread from bats (or other animals) to humans.

The call for concern about the possibility of a lab leak extended beyond politicians. “There’s going to be COVID-26 and COVID-32 unless we fully understand the origins of COVID-19,” Peter Hotez, a professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, said on the May 30 edition of NBC News’s Meet The Press.

The Washington Post, reporting on Hotez’s interview, said that understanding where the virus came from is “absolutely essential” in preventing future pandemics, and called for measures going beyond what Biden called for.

“I’m personally of the opinion we’ve pushed intelligence as far as we can,” Hotez said. “What we need to do is an outbreak investigation.”

He went on to propose a 6-12 month operation in Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province. The operation would involve scientists collecting extensive samples and gathering other forensic evidence.

McCaul went so far as to call for punitive economic measures against China for its presumed role in the COVID cover-up, but Hotez noted it would be extremely difficult to get facts about the virus’ origins without Chinese cooperation.

Sources: CNN, Washington Post

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