Top Lawmakers Call on Scientists Who Privately Supported Lab Leak Theory to Provide Answers Under Oath


Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) speaks during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 19, 2021. (Susan Walsh/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Top members of Congress are calling on scientists who privately supported the theory that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus came from a laboratory but offered the exact opposite stance in public to answer questions under oath.

Many of the scientists in question, including Wellcome Director Dr. Jeremy Farrar, joined a teleconference in February 2020 with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Francis Collins, until recently the head of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Despite many of them expressing in emails that the virus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, came from a Chinese lab, they soon published a paper claiming it originated from nature.

In letters sent on Feb. 3 to Farrar and the other scientists, House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and additional top Republicans urged the group to answer questions “about what, if any, underlying science changed in a matter of days after meeting with top government health officials.”

“Alarmingly, it appears that the decision to suppress the lab-leak hypothesis was rooted in political calculations rather than scientific principles. NIH documents show that scientists on the February 1, 2020, teleconference pushed the natural evolution theory because they believed the lab-leak hypothesis could cause China too much scrutiny,” the lawmakers added. “Transparency is a bedrock of scientific credibility. Continuing to shield the truth equates to hiding information that may inform future pandemic responses, advise the United States’ current national security posture, and restore confidence in our public health experts.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the House minority whip, and Rep. Jim Jordan, the top GOP member on the House Judiciary Committee, joined Comer in calling for testimony from the scientists.

In addition to Farrar, the trio wants to hear from Dr. Kristian Anderson and Dr. Michael Farzan, professors at Scripps Research; Dr. Robert Garry, a microbiologist at Tulane University; Dr. Edward Holmes, professor at the University of Sydney, Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, director of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity; and Dr. Andrew Rambaut, professor at the University of Edinburgh.

None of the scientists responded to requests for comment.

Fauci and Collins have also ducked questions on the call, which took place just days before the scientists published a paper called “Proximal Origins” that claimed the CCP virus came from nature.

Emails disclosed through Freedom of Information Act requests show both Fauci and Collins were involved in drafting the paper and gave feedback that led to an updated version that asserted the analyses contained within “clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.”

Neither U.S. doctor was named in the acknowledgments.

Most of the scientists who joined the teleconference and co-authored the paper later received increased funding from Fauci’s institute, The Epoch Times found. Fauci has not agreed to Republicans’ request to sit for a transcribed interview under oath.