Politics

EXCLUSIVE: Republicans Demand Answers From Secretary Of State Over Reports Biden Called Off Investigation Into COVID-19 Origins

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott sent a letter Thursday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken over reports President Joe Biden called off an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

The Daily Caller first obtained the letter which asks Blinken a number of questions and calls for the State Department to provide them with documents, communications, names, and more related to the now-terminated State Department investigation into SARS-CoV-2’s origin. Johnson and Scott both serve on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs.

“We write to request information regarding recent reports that ‘President Joe Biden’s team shut down’ an investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2, which included examining the theory that the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan, China. According to reports, the now-terminated investigation was run out of the State Department’s arms control and verification bureau and was the only inquiry looking seriously into the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. The investigation team reportedly briefed Biden administration officials on its findings in February and March 2021,” the two write in the letter.

“Following the briefing, the State Department reportedly terminated the investigation. To date, the World Health Organization (WHO) is the only entity that has conducted a known public investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2. However, the WHO’s investigation has been widely criticized by both outside experts and Biden administration officials, including yourself,” they added.

Here Is What The Senators Are Requesting From The State Department: 

  • Please explain why and when the State Department’s investigation was terminated, including the names and titles of the individuals who advocated for terminating the investigation
  • Please provide any written materials, including any draft reports, created during the now-terminated State Department investigation into SARS-CoV-2’s origin
  • Please provide the names and titles of all individuals who received or reviewed any draft reports or briefing on the State Department’s investigation in the origins of SARS-CoV-2
  • Please provide all documents and communications that the State Department cited or relied on during the course of its investigation into SARS-CoV-2’s origins
  • Please explain what other investigations the State Department currently has or previously
    had into SARS-CoV-2’s origins
  • Please provide the names and titles of the individuals that conducted the investigation
    into the origins of SARS-CoV-2
  • Please provide all State Department cables from 2018 to present that discuss the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

READ THE LETTER HERE: 

(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

“The world needs to know the origin of the Coronavirus. It is critical that this administration does its part by being transparent and providing the American people with honest and complete information. All I’m asking for is the truth,” Johnson told the Daily Caller after sending the letter.

“For nearly a year, the press and Washington Democrats said it was crazy to suggest that COVID-19 may have leaked from a lab. It’s about time President Biden acknowledges that the American people deserve answers. Communist China is responsible for this pandemic. We must hold them accountable,” Scott told the Daily Caller.

Biden told reporters Thursday that he expects to release the findings of the White House’s 90-day inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 to the public unless there is something he is “unaware of.” (RELATED: Biden Expects To Release Findings Of COVID-19 Origins Report, But With A Caveat)

Biden asked the intelligence community Wednesday “to redouble their efforts” in coming to a “conclusion” on the origins of COVID-19.

In a press release issued by the White House, Biden said he pushed for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to get access to China in early 2020 to learn about the virus. (RELATED: Biden Asks Intelligence Agencies To ‘Redouble Their Efforts’ On COVID-19 Origins, Presses China For Transparency)

“As of today, the U.S. Intelligence Community has ‘coalesced around two likely scenarios’ but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question,” Biden noted. “Here is their current position: ‘while two elements in the IC leans toward the former scenario and one leans more toward the latter – each with low or moderate confidence – the majority of elements do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other.’”

The Daily Caller contacted the State Department about the letter and received a statement from State Department Spokesperson Ned Price:

“There has been incorrect reporting that the Biden-Harris Administration shut down an investigation by the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control and Verification and Compliance (AVC) into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. That reporting is incorrect. In February and March of 2021, the team’s findings were briefed to AVC and Policy Planning policy staff in the new administration. With the report delivered, the work was ended,” Price said.

“The contract continues, focused on other, arms control related work related to AVC’s portfolio. All relevant parts of the Department continue to work with the interagency on this matter. The world continues to have serious questions about the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its origins within the Peoples Republic of China. China’s position that their part in this investigation is complete is disappointing and at odds with the rest of the international community that is working collaboratively across the board to bring an end to this pandemic and improve global health security,” he added.