The question of whether Covid-19 escaped a Wuhan lab boiled among conservative conspiracy theorists for months, but recently leaped into the mainstream: President Joe Biden tasked US intelligence agencies with investigating the question, and there is scrutiny on whether the virus could have been manipulated for extra transmissibility. But there’s also a risk that politics has already corrupted investigations.
Stefanik’s comments point to the highly politicized nature of the inquiry. “House Republicans want justice for the American people, we want transparency for the American people and accountability for the American people for the more than 600,000 Americans who lost their lives,” said Stefanik, a Donald Trump acolyte. By piling the blame for every aspect of the disaster on China, the GOP is clearly seeking to whitewash the ex-President’s disastrous mishandling of the crisis.
While Trump’s team did vital work in funding vaccine development, the question of how Covid-19 started hardly explains away why he denied, downplayed and politicized the virus once it reached US shores.