The report, while not an official scientific document, represents a potential model for a future investigative hearing in Congress if Republicans gain control of the The House or Senate – or both – after the midterm elections. The so-called “lab leak” theory is a moot point for some Republicans seeking office, and Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has promised hearings if his party wins the Senate.
The 35-page “interim” report released Thursday came from Senator Richard Burr (RN.C) and Republican staff on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which has been investigating the origins of the virus.
Although the report prefers Origin of “lab leak”, it does not rule out the origin of the market. The report also does not indulge in more provocative arguments for how SARS-CoV-2 entered the population. There is no claim that the virus was engineered as a biological weapon, for example.
It also doesn’t mention Anthony S. Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has been a frequent target of Paul and other supporters of the lab leak because his institute helped fund virus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The report’s conclusions differ sharply from the conclusions of the report Two peer-reviewed studies Published in Science this summer that presented the status of the Huanan Seafood Market as the epicenter of the disease outbreak. One study He found a geographical bull’s-eye on the market among the early cases of the disease which he named covid-19. other study He presented an analysis of two early strains of the virus indicating the existence of two strains and possibly more spread of the virus from animals sold in the market.
Scientists who favor market origin do not know which animals are infected or where they came from. No animals were tested in the market before the market closed and cleaned.
“Crucial supporting evidence for the spread of natural zoonoses is missing. While the lack of evidence is not in itself evidence, the lack of evidence supporting the spread or prevalence of zoonoses, three years after the epidemic, is a major problem,” states in New Republican Party Report.
The new GOP report “completely misses the science,” said Michael Worby, a professor at the University of Arizona who co-authored both studies published in Science.
As the saying goes, when you mix science and politics, you get politics. He said.
Worubi said the hypothesis of some kind of lab accident deserves to be investigated, and he was among the scientists who wrote a letter to Science in May 2021 arguing that all potential origins should be investigated. But he said his investigations and those of other scientists point to the origin of the market.
He said he was prepared to testify if Republicans called for hearings.
David Reelman, a Stanford University professor of medicine who was one of the experts interviewed by the panel’s task force, praised the report as a reliable effort to gather a great deal of information, including on safety issues in Chinese laboratories.
“I think it’s a sober and fair treatment of what is very much the body of circumstantial evidence supporting both hypotheses,” Reelman said. “But it does raise questions in particular about the assumption that natural fallout must have been the cause.”
Angela Rasmussen, a University of Saskatchewan virologist and co-author of one of the scientific papers, dismissed the new GOP report as a “reflective wave” as a partisan document.
“This is in the service of trying to create something that is politically beneficial to one party,” she said. “It is to facilitate the conduct of sham experiments primarily for people’s opponents, which unfortunately has come to include scientists.”
The report arrived in the final days of the election cycle as several Republicans — including Paul, who sits on the health committee — accused Fauci of withholding information about the origins of the virus.
“We owe it to Americans who have lost their lives to the virus, their families, and those who continue to suffer from the social and economic consequences of the pandemic, to continue to investigate the origins of the coronavirus,” said Senator Roger Marshall (R-Cannes). In a statement on Thursday, Fauci called for “all texts, emails and correspondence to be released and the records to be released in full and without redaction.”
Burr, who will retire this year, has taken a more conciliatory approach with Fauci, Praising the work of government scientists for a long time At a hearing last month, the report attempted to focus on the broader issues of biosafety.
While it was concluded that the research-related incident was the “most likely” source of the outbreak, the new report stops short of declaring a case closure. An introductory note to Bohr is ambiguous.
The main text of the report states, “This conclusion is not intended to be selective.” “Lack of transparency from government and public health officials in [People’s Republic of China] Regarding the origins of SARS-CoV-2 it prevents a more definitive conclusion. In the event that additional information becomes publicly available, and is subject to independent verification, such conclusions may be subject to review and reconsideration.”
The commission’s report was directed by Robert Kadlake, a Burr adviser who served as the assistant secretary of preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services during the Trump administration.
Some health officials, including Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Trump administration, have asserted their belief that a lab leak in China is the most likely cause of the epidemic.
“I think you will see the preponderance of evidence for the origins of Covid-19 is that it did not come from natural origins,” Redfield told a House committee investigating the government’s response to the coronavirus in March.
In a statement Thursday, the committee’s top Democrat reiterated that a separate investigation into the origins of the virus was still ongoing.
“[I]In 2021, I announced a bipartisan supervisory effort with Senator Burr to find out the origins of this virus. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash), chair of the Senate Health Committee, said the assistance committee continues to work bipartisan on this oversight report.
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