Rep. Mike Gallagher: Truth on COVID, China – here's why world needs answers about what happened at Wuhan

We have spent the last 18 months witnessing China’s Chernobyl in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like the Soviet Union during the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, from the earliest days of the pandemic when the virus emerged in Wuhan, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has engaged in a concerted campaign to pile lies on top of lies about the virus and its origins.   

Consider that the CCP refused to allow U.S. Centers for Disease Control experts access to Wuhan, and critical data from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) that could have helped the world get ahead of the disease suddenly disappeared. Chinese academics and doctors who raised the alarm were silenced, forced to release hostage-style videos recanting their “erroneous” statements, and even put under house arrest for daring to challenge the official narrative.  

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Abroad, the CCP’s “wolf-warriors” on social media spewed disinformation, going so far as accusing the U.S. Army of creating the virus in order to divert attention from the CCP’s own culpability. Countries like Australia, which called for an investigation into the origin of the pandemic, faced withering Chinese economic sanctions and coercion.  

All of these actions suggested the communists were engaged in a systematic coverup designed to avoid culpability for its mishandling of the pandemic that has killed over 3 million people.   

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Unfortunately, the CCP was not the only organization trying to throttle open scientific debate about the origins of the pandemic at its outset. Much of the corporate news media in the United States, along with giddy censors at social media companies, began pushing a narrative put forward by a small group of heavily-conflicted scientists who, like Beijing, wished to stop all inquiry into COVID-19’s genesis.  

Over a year later, despite their best efforts, the evidence continues to stack up in favor of the lab-leak hypothesis, particularly with recent revelations that lab workers at the WIV were hospitalized prior to the broader outbreak in Wuhan.   

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Some scientists and legacy media mouthpieces who initially threw cold water on the lab leak theory – and called its proponents conspiracy theorists – are being forced to concede that we need an investigation into the lab-leak hypothesis (even as they rush to stealth edit their old articles). \ 

Facing mounting political pressure, President Biden even ordered a 90-day intelligence community review of the origin of the pandemic. Yet there remains a reticence to tackle this issue with urgency, perhaps for fear of provoking the CCP.   

Understanding China’s Chernobyl, no matter how much it angers the CCP, is the most important question in the world right now for at least three reasons.  

First, we need to know how this pandemic started so we can best prevent the next one. If the pandemic resulted from natural spillover from a host population such as bats and made its way to humans, then it stands to reason we should take steps to minimize human contact with certain animal species and expand our early-warning capabilities on the spread of coronaviruses, particularly in key parts of Asia. 

 If, on the other hand, the virus emerged from a laboratory leak at the WIV, then it would make sense to focus on safety standards in domestic and foreign labs, and re-impose the U.S. government’s 2014-2017 moratorium on risky “gain-of-function” research that genetically modifies viruses to make them artificially more communicable in order to anticipate potential mutations.  

The strength of the CCP right now is that they are articulating a vivid and coherent vision of the future.

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