Why not investigate COVID’s origins?
One year, five months and 16 days.
That’s how long it’s been since COVID-19 was discovered in the United States. Since then, more than 100,000 small businesses have been destroyed, an entire generation of students have fallen behind, and, tragically, more than 600,000 Americans have died.
The coronavirus pandemic devastated our economy, isolated us from one another, and impacted every aspect of Americans’ lives.
And yet, after all this time, we still don’t know how the virus originated.
There is, however, mounting evidence that the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China. From the very first days of the pandemic, the Chinese Communist Party has been reluctant to share information, working overtime to conceal any details regarding the now-infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology.
It is clear that China is attempting a massive cover-up, coupled with efforts to strong-arm groups like the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent the public from learning the truth.
We now know that Taiwanese scientists warned the WHO about potential human-to-human transmission as far back as December of 2019. Instead of acting on this information, the WHO publicly asserted it had seen no evidence of human-to-human transmission in a tweet only weeks later.
When UN member states tasked the WHO with studying the outbreak in February 2020, the investigation was doomed from the start.
First, China leveraged its influence over the WHO to block American scientists from participating in the investigation. They restricted what investigators could see and downright refused to grant access to the original data and reports from Wuhan.
Worst of all, the Chinese Communist Party was granted full power to alter the final WHO report, effectively rendering its contents compromised by authoritarian censors.
Even President Biden has gone on the record about China’s efforts to block any independent investigation of the outbreak. The president said on May 26, “The failure to get our inspectors on the ground in those early months will always hamper any investigation into the origin of COVID-19.”
China’s role in this pandemic is undeniable. The Chinese Communist Party worked with the World Health Organization to hide the truth about a disease that would go on to kill nearly four million people.
When the world was searching for answers, China was actively engaged in a cover-up. This simple fact should horrify and outrage every American.
It’s time for Congress to authorize a thorough investigation into the origins of COVID-19 and finally hold China accountable.
More than 200 House Republicans, myself included, have sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi in support of a congressional inquiry into COVID-19. To date, these calls have fallen on deaf ears.
After more than a year, Americans deserve to know the truth, and there is no entity with more investigative resources at its disposal than the United States Congress.
Every American was impacted by COVID-19. All of us who lost family, friends, and livelihoods deserve answers.
As we speak, our country is emerging from an unprecedented crisis. We must do everything in our power to ensure nothing like it ever happens again. And if we can understand how this pandemic originated, we may be able to see the next one coming and do something before it devastates our nation.
Getting to the bottom of this pandemic should be a top bipartisan priority. Congress must act now and investigate China’s COVID cover-up.
The American people want answers. It’s on us, as elected officials, to start asking questions. Where did this virus come from — and what is China trying to hide?
U.S. Rep. Fred Keller is a Republican representing Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District. This column originally appeared in the Washington Examiner.