Republicans from the US House of Representatives investigated the causes of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. They concluded that it originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, the Hill newspaper reports, citing the conclusion of congressmen.
The report is based on data from open sources and “indirect evidence.” The text was published by the senior Republican of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul, this is the third part of his investigation on the origin of the coronavirus.
“As we continue to investigate the causes of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe that it is time to completely exclude the seafood market as the source of the outbreak of the disease. Instead, as shown in this report, indisputable evidence suggests that all roads lead to WIV (Wuhan Institute of Virology),” McCaul said in a statement.
The document notes that the laboratory researched “mutations with the acquisition of function,” this was done, according to McCaul, “in unsafe conditions.” The researchers also suggest that the first cases of COVID-19 occurred in August or September 2019 and not in mid-November, which appears in other similar works.
The investigation materials also say that the Wuhan Institute and Laboratory underwent repairs when coronavirus research was being conducted. This happened in the months before the first cases of COVID-19 appeared.
In his statements, McCaul called on Congress to pass a law on sanctions against scientists of the laboratory in Wuhan and officials of the Communist Party of China, who allegedly interfered with the fight against the pandemic. He also called on the Foreign Affairs Committee to subpoena American expert Peter Daszak in connection with his “inconsistent” and “deliberately inaccurate” statements.
The publication emphasizes that the authors of the study do not say that they have “irrefutable evidence” to prove their case. On the contrary, rather, they seek to develop a legislative response and assign responsibility to China.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan at the end of December 2019, various versions have repeatedly appeared in the media that the new virus could have “leaked” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory. In March of this year, experts from the World Health Organization visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology, including the most isolated BSL-4 laboratory, with which rumors about the artificial origin of the virus were associated.
In March, the WHO published the full version of the report of an international group of experts on their visit, in which it called its leakage from the laboratory “extremely unlikely.” The report also says that the new type of coronavirus was most likely transmitted to humans from bats through another animal. Experts added another version of the origin of the virus — direct transmission to humans from an animal — to the list of hypotheses “from possible to probable.” The WHO mission also called the “possible” version of the occurrence of coronavirus through chilled products.
The United States and 13 other countries issued a joint statement expressing concern about these findings and stressed the need for a “transparent and independent” investigation into the origin of COVID-19.