House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who serves as the top Republican on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, and House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer penned a letter to top Democrats on the committees, Chairman James Clyburn, D-S.C., and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., saying it is “imperative” that Fauci appear before the committees.
Scalise and Comer wrote that Fauci’s emails, which were released through a Freedom of Information Act filing this week, “debunk many Democrats’ claims from the past year,” including that he and other scientists were “‘muzzled’” by the Trump administration.
“More importantly, the emails contain new evidence regarding the origins of COVID-19, including the possibility it leaked from a U.S. taxpayer funded laboratory,” they wrote.
“It is now imperative that Dr. Fauci come before our Committees to provide information related to the origins of the novel coronavirus as well as the U.S. government’s role in funding research that may have contributed to the development of the novel coronavirus,” they continued. “The American people have a right to know what our government knew about the origins of the pandemic and when it was known.”
Scalise and Comer also renewed their requests of Clyburn and Maloney to “convene hearings to examine the origins of COVID-19, the possibility that it leaked from a CCP-controlled laboratory, and any involvement of U.S. taxpayer funds.”
They also demanded “unreacted versions of all of Dr. Fauci’s recently released emails.”
“Your continued inaction while facing mounting evidence of the CCP’s malicious conduct is concerning,” they wrote.
The Fauci emails have sparked fierce backlash among Republicans, specifically being critical of his comments on mask-wearing, the potential that the coronavirus leaked from a lab the U.S. gave money to, and more.
Scalise and Comer last week demanded Clyburn and Maloney launch a “full and complete” investigation of China’s role in the origins of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, President Biden released a rare statement last week, revealing that the U.S. intelligence community has “coalesced around two likely scenarios” for the origins of COVID-19, “including whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident,” and asked for “additional follow-up.”
The president asked the intelligence community to “redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 days,” Biden said.
“As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China,” he added while noting that the effort would include work by “our National Labs and other agencies of our government to augment the Intelligence Community’s efforts” and directing the IC to “keep Congress fully apprised of its work.”
“The United States will also keep working with like-minded partners around the world to press China to participate in a full, transparent, evidence-based international investigation and to provide access to all relevant data and evidence,” Biden said.
But it was China’s refusal to support the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origin of COVID-19 that spurred the Biden administration to accelerate the declassification of U.S. intelligence and the release of the president’s statement Wednesday, Fox News has learned.
An administration official told Fox News that Biden was briefed on the intelligence in the Presidential Daily Briefing earlier this month, which revealed that U.S. intelligence officials are torn between whether COVID-19 emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.