House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has become the latest GOP member to urge President Joe Biden to clarify the origin of COVID-19 concerning the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), where it is rumored to have escaped from, and transparency on any U.S. budget being spent on the China-based lab. 

The top committee Republican on the House Intelligence Committee on Sunday, May 16, sent a letter to Biden and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines on the topic of how the COVID-19 (CCP Virus) pandemic first started, including the lab-leak theory circulating the WIV. The Washinton Examiner presented the full content of the letter. 

In the letter, Nunes declared that his investigation team had achieved sources that might back the lab-originated COVID-19 narrative while demanding that all effort from the government must be invested into clarifying the validity of where coronavirus may have first emerged. 

“We write to request that you initiate a whole-of-government effort to identify the origins of the virus and to direct federal agencies and departments to examine all plausible scenarios as part of such investigation,” Nunes wrote. “During the course of our investigation, which is ongoing, we have identified substantial circumstantial evidence supporting the theory that a laboratory leak could have been responsible for the origination of COVID-19.”

Alongside the concerns around the real background of the COVID-19 is the allegation that WIV, which was the very laboratory that the virus might have escaped from, was sponsored by American taxpayer’s money. 

On January 15, the U.S. Department of State released a Fact Sheet, which reviewed that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) paid the Chinese lab $598,500 throughout five years from 2014. The sheet detailed that the funding was to support a study on genetic analysis of coronavirus in bats.

White House coronavirus advisor coincidentally was the head of the NIAID, who recently dismissed Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky’s accusation that the NIAID funded gain of function research in WIV in a congressional hearing about the lethal pandemic on May 11. 

Nunes mentioned the NIAID’s involvement in his letter, which he said was “essential” for the U.S. president to “examine the matter,” and took the incident as a time to revise how the U.S. may conduct research with international agencies. “This may require a review of the interagency processes associated with such decisions,” he wrote.

During the very first quarter of 2020, when the pandemic started to creep up on U.S. citizens, then-president Donald Trump backed the theory that coronavirus leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, asserting with the media he saw the evidence. Still, he was “not allowed” to be more specific with the details, reported the Guardian.

Even the Biden administration considered the anecdote too. The Washinton Examiner reported that this year when the World Health Organization’s March report said the possibility for the lab-leak theory was “extremely unlikely,” even Biden’s Secretary of State Anthony Blinken did not accept the legitimacy of the declaration.

“We’ve got real concerns about the methodology and the process that went into that report, including the fact that the government in Beijing apparently helped to write it,” Blinken said on March 30, the day WHO released its report.

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