Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania called out Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink during a Monday hearing, demanding if Kritenbrink had any facts on the origins of COVID-19.
“Americans across the country were ridiculed and vilified for having a difference of opinion. So with all due respect, sir, what facts do you have? Do you have the pangolin where the virus jumped from the pangolin to us, to a human?” Perry asked during Monday’s hearing held by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on “Combatting the Generational Challenge of CCP Aggression.” “What facts do you have? Do you have any facts whatsoever to support your claim that the virus occurred in the wet market as opposed to the Wuhan lab?” (RELATED: US Will ‘Soon’ Have ‘Illegal Hate Speech’ Laws, World Economic Forum Panelist Tells Fired CNN Host)
“If you look at what elements of the us intelligence community of said, some have pointed to say they come down on the question that it looks like it was naturally occurring,” Kritenblink said. “Some have come down on the other side of that, some of said, we don’t have enough evidence to judge.”
The State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) flagged Twitter accounts that speculated that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic stemmed from a leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), according to documents provided to journalist Matt Taibbi. The Department of Energy concluded that COVID-19 likely originated from a lab leak, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Many media outlets, including the Washington Post and New York Times, dismissed the possibility that COVID-19 emerged from a lab in 2020 after conservatives questioned claims that COVID-19 emerged from a market in Wuhan. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who retired as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, was involved in efforts to discredit the theory that the pandemic stemmed from a lab leak.
The State Department also came under fire for funding a British group, the Global Disinformation Index, which reportedly sought to demonetize conservative media outlets in the United States.
Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry of Louisiana sued the Biden administration and social media sites along with former Republican Attorney General Erick Schmitt of Missouri, claiming in court filings that the social media sites and the administration colluded to suppress debate about the COVID-19 pandemic, among other issues. Landry revealed the White House pressured social media sites to censor Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a co-founder of the Daily Caller and honorary member of the Daily Caller News Foundation board, and also obtained files on agents of the Department of Homeland Security who were involved in censorship efforts.
Republicans on the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) issued a report in October claiming that the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic stemmed from a lab leak at the WIV.
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