The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, led by Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), has announced a forthcoming hearing to investigate the origins of a potential cover-up surrounding Covid-19. The hearing, scheduled for July 11, will focus on the potential conflicts of interest and suppression of scientific discourse by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concerning the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The investigation was prompted by evidence suggesting that Dr. Anthony Fauci, an influential public health figure, steered the drafting of a paper titled “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2” (“Proximal Origins”) with the aim of discrediting the lab-leak theory early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The hearing will seek to evaluate whether leading U.S. health officials acted to minimize the lab-leak theory and examine the long-term implications of inhibiting scientific debate to accommodate a preferred narrative.
Chairman Wenstrup stated, “With insufficient evidence in hand and Dr. Fauci’s prompting as protection, ‘Proximal Origins’ seemingly became one of the most egregious cover-ups of the COVID-19 pandemic. Robust scientific discourse was abandoned in pursuit of a preferred, coordinated narrative.” He emphasized the necessity of a comprehensive investigation into the origins of a virus that has claimed the lives of seven million people worldwide, as opposed to hasty judgments based on questionable motives.
The Select Subcommittee aims to illuminate the potential concealment of the origins of COVID-19 and the possible suppression of the lab-leak hypothesis by public health authorities, including Dr. Fauci, Dr. Collins, and others. Wenstrup insisted on a thorough examination of all the facts, declaring that “the truth is nonnegotiable.”
Invited witnesses for the hearing include distinguished scholars and researchers in the field of virology and epidemiology: Dr. Kristian Andersen of Scripps Research, Dr. Andrew Rambaut of the University of Edinburgh, Dr. W. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University, Dr. Edward Holmes of the University of Sydney, and Dr. Robert Garry of Tulane University School of Medicine.
Last Friday, the Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic had formally issued a subpoena to Kristian Andersen, Ph.D., author of “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2,” demanding the release of his private communications with other co-authors.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020, Andersen, a virologist from the Scripps Research Institute, speculated a potential lab origin for the virus. His preliminary analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, conducted with other virologists, suggested it could be lab-created. Andersen’s stance on this issue changed after a conference call with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the specifics of which were not publicly disclosed.
Subsequently, Andersen dismissed the lab leak theory publicly, referring to it as a “crackpot theory.” In March 2020, he co-authored a paper in Nature Medicine, asserting that COVID-19 was neither artificially created nor intentionally manipulated. Following the publication of this paper, Andersen received a substantial research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Andersen had voluntarily participated in a transcribed interview with the Subcommittee on June 16, 2023, during which he disclosed that he and his co-authors primarily used Slack instant messaging for their research collaboration. He admitted to owning the Slack channel but had not produced all Slack messages for the Subcommittee due to a lack of consent from all participants.