GOP Rep. Michael McCaul is calling for a bipartisan investigation of “gain of function” research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology —including testimony from Dr. Anthony Fauci — following the blockbuster Republican report detailing how the Chinese Communist Party covered up the origins of the coronavirus and its leak from the lab.
McCaul, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee who released the report, said Fauci had to be aware of conversations between Peter Daszak and Shi Zhengli, the lead scientist at the the Wuhan Institute of Virology also known as “bat woman,” over the research and grants to the lab from the National Institutes of Health.
“There were public papers between Peter Daszak and Dr. Shi, the bat lady, they’re publicly discussing gain of function research and genetic manipulation to sort of breed a monster out of a laboratory. I can’t imagine Dr. Fauci would not know about that when he approved the NIH grant,” McCaul told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday night.
“I think we need to have a serious investigation, call these people before the Congress and it should be bipartisan. But unfortunately, the Democrats don’t seem to be very interested in this,” he said.
In the interview, McCaul of Texas said it’s known that Daszak, the president of the New York-based EcoHealth Alliance, was working with Shi on “gain of function research,” which involves genetically manipulating viruses to make them stronger and more contagious.
“They took the bat specimens out of the caves a thousand miles away, brought them to the lab, and then tried to create like a super SARS virus to create a vaccine,” McCaul said.
He went on to say that Daszak wrote a statement that was published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, supporting the theory that the coronavirus developed naturally and rejecting claims that the deadly virus escaped from the Wuhan lab.
“He was actually working with the CCP directly,” McCaul said, referring to the Chinese Communist Party.
“They asked him to write this report. He got 24 virologists to weigh in on this, and suddenly Dr. Fauci believes in everybody else,” he said. “And the entire scientific community falls for this great hoax that Dr. Peter Daszak perpetrated on the world.”
“We have NIH funding going into this dangerous manipulating research at the Wuhan lab itself. We cannot allow this to happen again,” he said.
Fauci, the top adviser to President Biden on the coronavirus, has denied that the NIH funded gain of function research at the Wuhan lab.
He clashed with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) at a Senate hearing in July over the topic.
“Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11 where you claimed that the NIH never funded gain-of-function research and move on?” Paul asked during the hearing.
“Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you’re referring to was judged by qualified staff, up and down the chain, as not being gain-of-function,” Fauci responded, later telling Paul “you do not know what you are talking about.”
The Republican report says “a preponderance of the evidence” shows that the Wuhan lab is the source of the COVID-19 outbreak and that the virus leaked before Sept. 12, 2019, but that the Communist Party kept the news bottled up.
“When they realized what happened, Chinese Communist Party officials and scientists at the WIV began frantically covering up the leak, including taking their virus database offline in the middle of the night and requesting more than $1 million for additional security,” McCaul said.
But the coverup happened too late because the coronavirus was already spreading through the city of Wuhan and then coursed around the world, killing more than 4 million people.