An expert panel told Coronavirus Committee Republicans that hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved if China acted transparently earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Whether it was laboratory derived or natural, if we would’ve had open access the moment it started spreading, we could’ve saved lives,” Adm. Brett Giroir told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis during the Tuesday panel. “If we could’ve known about asymptomatic transmission two months beforehand, it could’ve saved hundreds of thousands of lives,” Giroir said.
Giroir, a former assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services during the Trump administration, was one of four experts on a panel convened by the Coronavirus Committee to discuss the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. No Democratic members of the committee attended the hearing, and both NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci reportedly turned down invites to the hearing.
“When you get to the ultimate source of death, as CNN would say in the autopsy, it was a lack of Chinese transparency early on. If we could’ve had that, sure people would’ve died, we would have still had it throughout, but I think we could have had interventions much more timely,” Giroir added.
He was joined on the panel by Dr. David Asher, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, Dr. Richard Muller, an emeritus professor of physics at the University of California Berkeley and Dr. Steven Quay, founder of Atossa Therapeutics.
“If we would’ve known earlier and there wasn’t a cover-up, we could’ve saved lives … if we knew it was lab-derived and they were transparent … that could’ve been a major, major important finding for us to know early,” Giroir went on to say.
The other experts on the panel were asked by Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan if they agreed that earlier knowledge could’ve saved lives. (RELATED: American Scientists Helped Cover Up A Lab-Leak For Communists Before — In The Soviet Union)
“Yes, as I said earlier, if I had the virus in 72 hours I could have predicted all of the transmission and asymptomatic … from the virus itself, so, yeah,” Quay said.
“I have no scientific expertise on this. I have my own personal opinion, but I defer to Dr. Quay,” Muller said.
These individuals aren’t the only ones to make similar claims. A May 2020 study from Columbia University determined that by intervening two weeks earlier with coronavirus restrictions, as many as 84% of deaths in the first COVID-19 wave to hit the U.S. could have been prevented.