The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic announced Wednesday that it will hold its first hearing on the origins of the coronavirus, following FBI Director Christopher Wray's admission that the virus "most likely" originated from a Chinese lab.
"On March 8, we’ll hold our first hearing on COVID origins. At the hearing, we will gather facts about the origination of the virus that has claimed nearly seven million lives globally," the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic said in a post on Twitter.
REPUBLICANS CALL FOR ‘FULL TRANSPARENCY’ AFTER FBI DIRECTOR SAYS COVID ‘MOST LIKELY’ ORIGINATED IN CHINESE LAB
The committee's chairman, Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, said in a statement that Americans "deserve real answers" on the origins of the virus that killed millions of people worldwide, and the government policies related to it.
"This investigation must begin with where and how this virus came about so that we can attempt to ‘predict, prepare, protect, or prevent’ it from happening again. Government scientists and government funded researchers have so far been less-than-forthcoming in their knowledge and actions, including work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and potential pandemic pathogens," Wenstrup said.
Witnesses will include: Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield, Dr. Jamie Metzl, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and Nicholas Wade, former health and science editor. The subcommittee noted that additional witnesses may be added.
FBI DIRECTOR SAYS COVID PANDEMIC ‘MOST LIKELY’ ORIGINATED FROM CHINESE LAB
The Wenstrup-led subcommittee sent a series of letters last month seeking more information on COVID origins from Dr. Anthony Fauci, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, White House Acting Science Adviser to the President Dr. Francis Collins and EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak.
Fauci was also asked to sit for a transcribed interview.
"We can’t accept more years of stonewalling; the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic is committed to conducting a proper investigation that the American people have demanded. We look forward to hearing from our esteemed witnesses next week about their research on this topic," he added.
Scrutiny over the initial rejection of the lab-leak theory has grown following Wray's admission to Fox News on Tuesday, in which he also said the Chinese government had "been doing its best to thwart and obfuscate" the FBI's efforts to investigate.