Republican lawmakers hailed the Energy Department’s new assessment that COVID-19 likely leaked from a Chinese lab as vindication of their early warnings about the outbreak — and called for the Biden administration to declassify everything the intelligence community knows about the global pandemic.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), one of the first to suggest that the coronavirus could have emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, responded to the revelations Sunday evening by tweeting: “Well, well, well…”
In a separate tweet, Cotton elaborated: “Re. China’s lab leak, being proven right doesn’t matter.
“What matters is holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable so this doesn’t happen again.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported Sunday that the Energy Department had concluded with “low confidence” that COVID stemmed from a lab leak in a classified report provided to the White House and high-ranking members of Congress.
The updated assessment came after the receipt of new intelligence, and the finding puts the department in sync with the FBI, which revealed in 2021 that it had “moderate confidence” that the global pandemic began with a lab accident.
The Energy Department oversees the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, which has extensive experience in biological threats — making the assessment reported Sunday all the more significant.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), another China hawk, vowed to take legislative action to ensure the White House was transparent with the American public about the pandemic.
“The American people deserve the full truth about #covid origins. No more whitewash. I will again introduce legislation to make the US government’s intelligence reports on covid open to the people,” he tweeted.?
Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), who joined with Hawley to introduce legislation that passed nearly two years ago requiring the Biden administration to come clean with intelligence about any links between COVID-19 and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, called again on Monday for the information to be declassified immediately.
“The Senate already passed my bill with? ?@HawleyMO? ??to make every bit of evidence we know about the COVID lab leak declassified for the American people to see the facts without corporate or government censors. President Biden needs to declassify everything we know today?,” Braun said on Twitter.
“Nearly two years on from the Senate passing this bill to declassify everything about the Wuhan lab leak, and President Biden still has not given the American people the transparency we deserve?,” the senator added. “Time to declassify!”
“Big Tech censored the truth. Legacy media denied the truth. Government officials hid the truth,” tweeted Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.). “Americans deserve accountability.”
“We were right,” Rep. Nick Langworthy (R-NY) captioned Monday’s Post front page before listing: “COVID origins,” “lockdowns,” “mask effectiveness,” and “vaccine mandates” and adding: “Accountability is coming …”
Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) joined with other Republican voices calling for a congressional investigation into the origins of the pandemic and what members of the Biden administration — including former White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci — knew about how it started.
“It’s been lie after lie, misinformation after misinformation. And it’s about time we crack this egg open and really find what’s actually going on?,” Van Drew said Monday in an interview on “Fox & Friends First.”
?”I mean, let’s just tell the truth. Hopefully it was an accident. But not only did they do this, but they lied about it. And we have an administration that doesn’t have the guts to go forward and get the truth out of them. And we paid for that part of it all. We paid for the damn lab?.”
Staten Island and Brooklyn Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) also said she wants answers from Fauci.
“The Administration is finally admitting what Republicans said 2 years ago?: Chinese Communist Party’s Wuhan Lab is likely COVID source. Fauci called theory a ?’?shiny object?’? & the scientist who funneled our tax dollars to lab called it a ?’?conspiracy theory?,’” she said on Twitter, linking to a Fox News interview she conducted in August 2021.
??In that interview, Malliotakis urged Democrats to look more closely at the theory that ?the pandemic leaked from a Chinese lab and noted that major renovations were underway at the Wuhan National Biosafety Lab just months before the coronavirus outbreak was first detected in late 2019. ?
“What we do know is that this lab was genetically modifying coronaviruses and they were doing it in subpar conditions,” she said at the time. “We also know in September of 2019, there were a number of scientists from the lab that fell ill with symptoms that would be symptoms similar to COVID. and we also know on or before September 2019 is when we assume this leak occurred because on September 12 of 2019, that’s when they pulled their viral sequence database off the website.”