COVID-19 origins: China dismisses Republican report concluding lab leak in Wuhan

Beijing [China]: China dismissed Republican lawmakers report which accused Beijing of one the ‘greatest cover-ups in human history’ over the origins of COVID-19.
Earlier this week, a Republican lawmaker’s report investigating the origins of COVID-19 released concluded that the pandemic outbreak stemmed from a genetically modified virus that leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, first detected in December 2019. According to The Hill, House Republican lawmaker, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the third instalment in his investigation into the origins of the virus and the missteps by China in alerting the world to the risks of the pandemic.
“What the US congressmen have done smears and slander China in pursuit of political gains,” Daily Mail quoted the statement from the Chinese foreign ministry. “We express categorical opposition to and strong condemnation of such despicable acts that have no moral bottom line,” it added.
The Republican report is based on open-source material and draws conclusions from circumstantial reporting, also raises concern that the lab was conducting “gain of function” research, controversial medical research where scientists genetically modify a bacteria or virus to make it more infectious in an effort to study better preventative measures, in an unsafe environment, reported The Hill.
McCaul also called on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to subpoena Peter Daszak, an American scientist who has come under scrutiny for his connection with the Wuhan lab and involvement in publishing an open letter in February 2020 that rejected the lab theory as a xenophobic distraction from the pandemic response.
The letter, which was published in the Lancet medical journal, has since come under criticism as an attempt to divert attention from China’s responsibility for the virus outbreak.
“Now is the time to use all of the tools the US government has to continue to root out the full truth of how this virus came to be,” McCaul said.
“That includes subpoenaing Peter Daszak to appear before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to answer the many questions his inconsistent — and in some instances outright and knowingly inaccurate — statements have raised. It also includes Congress passing legislation to sanction scientists at the WIV [Wuhan Institute of Virology] and CCP [Chinese Communist Party] officials who participated in this coverup. This was the greatest coverup of all time and has caused the deaths of more than four million people around the world, and people must be held responsible.”

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