National Security

Congressional Republicans Demand Answers On COVID-19 Exposure At 2019 Military World Games

Screenshot via YouTube/CGTN

Michael Ginsberg General Assignment Reporter
Font Size:

Congressional Republicans are requesting investigations into the 2019 Military World Games in an effort to determine when the first COVID-19 cases emerged in Wuhan, China.

Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher submitted a letter on Monday to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley requesting information on illnesses associated with athletes who competed at the games. Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall submitted a similar letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra on Tuesday. The games were held from Oct. 18-28, 2019 in Wuhan.


In the letter, Gallagher asks Austin and Milley how many athletes became ill with COVID-19-like symptoms, and whether or not their military bases reported outbreaks. The letter was first obtained by the Washington Post.

Gallagher also notes that “one athlete from Luxembourg reported ‘nearly empty’ streets in Wuhan during the games, recalling, ‘It was a ghost town’ and ‘There were rumors that the government warned the inhabitants not to go out.'”

Gallagher also cited a Daily Mail article which noted that multiple athletes became sick with unknown illnesses after competing in the games.

The Chinese government claims that its doctors confirmed the first official COVID-19 case on Nov. 19, 2019. Therefore, participants’ reported illnesses “cast further doubt on the CCP’s official timeline regarding the spread of this virus,” Gallagher told the Daily Caller.

“Information involving the health of those who participated in the 2019 games could provide critical insight into understanding where and when COVID-19 first emerged, and it’s essential for the Biden Administration to immediately release this information to the public,” he continued.

A World Health Organization investigation identified at least 72,000 people in Wuhan who reported COVID-19-like symptoms between October and December 2019, suggesting that the virus emerged earlier than the Chinese government is willing to admit. (RELATED: REPORT: Chinese Communist Party Falsified Its Coronavirus Stats, Leaked Internal Documents Show)

Marshall noted in his letter, also obtained by the Washington Post, that multiple reported infections associated with the Military World Games suggests that the games could be considered a “‘super spreader’ event, based on the time, location, and reported symptoms of the participating athletes.”

Marshall is requesting the results of COVID-19 antibodies tests taken by American participants, and the status of any HHS investigations into athlete illnesses.

“The World Military Games’ proximity to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the new details of the athletes potentially being exposed to COVID-19 while participating in the event present an alarming coincidence our government must investigate to establish an accurate timeline of the outbreak. This merits a thorough examination as a possible ‘super spreader’ event based on the time, location, and reported symptoms of the participating athletes. If these individuals were exposed in October, this evidence will further help us understand the origin of COVID-19 and prepare for future outbreaks,” Marshall said in a press release.