House Republicans say it is "imperative" for Dr. Anthony Fauci to testify, under oath, before congressional committees and provide information related to his recently released emails, and otherwise speak about the origins of COVID-19, Fox News reported.
The top Republican on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., along with House Oversight Committee ranking member James Comer, R-Ky., penned a letter to top Democrats on the committees, Chairman James Clyburn of South Carolina and Carolyn Maloney of New York, saying it is "imperative" that Fauci appear before the committees and that they immediately launch a "full and complete" investigation of China's role in the origins of COVID-19.
"More importantly, the emails contain new evidence regarding the origins of COVID-19, including the possibility it leaked from a U.S. taxpayer funded laboratory," they asserted.
Fauci’s emails, which were released through a Freedom of Information Act filing this week, "debunk many Democrats’ claims from the past year," including that he and other scientists were "‘muzzled’" by the Trump administration, Scalise and Comer wrote in their letter.
"It is now imperative that Dr. Fauci come before our committees to provide information related to the origins of the novel coronavirus as well as the U.S. government’s role in funding research that may have contributed to the development of the novel coronavirus," they said.
"The American people have a right to know what our government knew about the origins of the pandemic and when it was known," they emphasized.
Scalise and Comer wrote that Clyburn and Maloney must "convene hearings to examine the origins of COVID-19, the possibility that it leaked from a [Chinese Communist Party-controlled] laboratory, and any involvement of U.S. taxpayer funds."
They also demanded "unredacted versions of all of Dr. Fauci’s recently released emails."
Evidence of malicious conduct is mounting, they said.
"Your continued inaction while facing mounting evidence of the [Chinese Communist Party’s] malicious conduct is concerning," they wrote.
The Fauci emails have sparked fierce backlash among Republicans, including being critical of his comments on wearing a mask and the potential that the coronavirus leaked from a lab to which the U.S. gave money.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden asked the intelligence community to "redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 days."
Biden added, "As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China." He noted that the effort would include work by "our national labs and other agencies of our government to augment the intelligence community’s efforts" and directed the intelligence community to "keep Congress fully apprised of its work."
"The United States will also keep working with like-minded partners around the world to press China to participate in a full, transparent, evidence-based international investigation and to provide access to all relevant data and evidence," Biden said.
The Biden administration’s decision to accelerate the declassification of U.S. intelligence, along with Wednesday’s statement, was hastened by China’s continued refusal to support the World Health Organization's investigation into the origin of COVID-19, according to Fox News.
An administration official told Fox News that Biden was briefed earlier this month on the intelligence, which revealed that U.S. intelligence officials are torn between whether COVID-19 emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.
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