Douglas Andrews / October 28, 2021

Where Are the Wuhan Hearings?

Evidence points to American taxpayer funding of dangerous coronavirus research in China. It’s time to find out who knew what, and when.

We’re not sure the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice, but if it does, Congress had better take up its constitutionally prescribed oversight function and begin issuing some COVID-19 subpoenas. And then congressional Republicans — because we can’t count on congressional Democrats — had better put some tough questions to Anthony Fauci and his fellow scientists.

Last week’s release by House Oversight Committee Republicans of a letter from Lawrence Tabak, Fauci’s colleague at the National Institutes of Health, which the GOP says confirms that Fauci’s organization funded dangerous gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, has left no doubt about the dubiousness of Fauci’s oft-repeated claim to the contrary.

“Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely, entirely and completely incorrect,” Fauci smugly said to Kentucky Republican Rand Paul back in May during a Senate hearing. “The NIH has not ever, and does not now, fund ‘gain of function research’ in the Wuhan Institute.”

But, as our Thomas Gallatin noted last week, Paul told the truth, and Fauci lied.

Nevertheless, Fauci stood by his denial last Sunday during an interview with ABC’s friendly George Stephanopoulos, despite his colleague’s admission that an NIH-funded research organization, EcoHealth Alliance, had conducted bat coronavirus research with the Wuhan Institute.

He’s out on an island. Even his NIH has abandoned him. “The NIH-funded experiments at EcoHealth/WIV involved bat coronaviruses that were genetically very distant from SARS-CoV-2,” said the NIH in a statement, “and therefore could not possibly have led to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any claims to the contrary are false. These viruses are as genetically different from each other as humans are from cows.”

The new position of Fauci’s NIH is not a denial that it funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan, but that the research it funded could not possibly have resulted in the global pandemic that has so far killed more than 700,000 Americans and nearly five million people worldwide.

So, where are those congressional subpoenas?

“Chinese stonewalling means it’s unlikely the world will ever know Covid-19’s exact origins,” writes the editorial board at The Wall Street Journal. “Yet many avenues of investigation remain unexplored that could yield lessons for the future. Until this year much of the political and scientific establishment wrote off the idea that Covid-19 began circulating in China after an accidental lab leak. This groupthink was inexcusable, given that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) for years had studied and modified bat coronaviruses.”

The Journal continues: “The intelligence community’s 90-day Covid-19 origins review was a muddle. The Chinese Communist Party has done everything it can to thwart a real investigation. The World Health Organization’s efforts have been undermined by conflicts of interest. EcoHealth Alliance chief Peter Daszak was appointed to the expert group that visited China this year, and several proposed members for the new Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens have conflicts as well.”

What next? “EcoHealth Alliance must be held accountable for lying to the federal government about what exactly they were using American taxpayer money for,” Texas Congressman Michael McCaul said this week. As the Journal reports, “Daszak has publicly dismissed the lab-leak theory while organizing scientists behind the scenes to rally against it. He and key subordinates should share all documents related to the WIV and speak under oath about their work.”

If there’s a bright side to all this back-and-forth, it’s that the American people have finally gotten wise to Anthony Fauci. The tiny Teflon technocrat, who throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has enjoyed an almost deified status as a scientist and a truthteller, has finally been found out. A new Rasmussen poll finds that nearly half of voters believe Fauci lied about U.S. funding for gain-of-function research, and a plurality think he should be forced to resign.

We’re not holding our breath, but St. Anthony’s reputation ain’t what it used to be. Just ask those beagles.

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