The House Intelligence Committee’s Republican minority – largely lawyers – just released a 21-page report concluding, based on logic and observation, that “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” points to China’s Wuhan Virology lab as a source of the COVID-19 pandemic that sickened 167 million people, killed 3.4 million more people, and cost over $11 trillion. This compelling document reminds us how China operates – what we are up against. See, e.g., https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/gop-house-intel-overwhelming-circumstantial-evidence-wuhan-lab-covid-origin; see also https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/?%22; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/10/economic-cost-covid-global-preparedness-monitoring-board/.
Refresher: Evidence is “overwhelming” when it leads inexorably to one conclusion – the conclusion anyone, based on logic and observation, must reach. Liability is assigned by looking at direct and circumstantial evidence, civil liability on a “preponderance” of evidence, criminal when “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
To date, China has denied access to “direct” evidence – not allowing investigators to examine the Wuhan lab, only increasing the power of circumstantial evidence. Remember, direct evidence is what you see; circumstantial is what you can reasonably infer. So, if you see it snowing, that is direct evidence that it snowed. If you awake to a white wonderland, you can infer it snowed – circumstantial evidence. Your conclusion is correct either way.
What House Intelligence found is “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” that China is to blame for COVID-19. Specifically, there is “overwhelming circumstantial evidence … to support a lab leak as the origination of COVID-19” and “no substantive evidence supporting the natural zoonosis hypothesis.” So, China’s near-certain recklessness killed millions, cost trillions.
First, according to official State documents, Wuhan lab researchers “conducted experiments involving RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified … closest to SARS-CoV-2 – 96.2% similar.” And we know SARS-CoC-2 caused COVID-19. See, e.g., https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/pompeo-us-wuhan-lab-staff-caught-covid-19-before-pandemic.
Second, Wuhan has a “published record” of “gain-of-function” research, that is, research intentionally bosting viral infectiousness and lethality, presumably to prevent a pandemic – but in this case, all-but-certainly causing one. See, e.g., https://www.visiontimes.com/2021/04/08/fauci-gain-of-function-wuhan-grant.html; https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/the-case-is-building-that-covid-19-had-a-lab-origin/.
Third, China has a “history of research lab leaks” resulting in human infections. See https://nationalpost.com/news/a-brief-terrifying-history-of-viruses-escaping-from-labs-70s-chinese-pandemic-was-a-lab-mistake; https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/1251719/coronavirus-china-bioweapon-experiment-lab-leak-wuhan-seafood-market-spt.
Fourth, world leaders got multiple “warnings from U.S. diplomats in China, as early as 2017, that the Wuhan lab was conducting dangerous research on coronaviruses without following necessary safety protocols” and “risked a potential outbreak.”
Fifth, so-called “gain-of-function” research conducted at Wuhan lab “made coronaviruses more infectious in humans.”
Sixth, “several researchers at Wuhan lab were sickened with COVID-19-like symptoms” during “autumn of 2019.” See also, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-report-of-illnesses-at-wuhan-lab-raises-questions-about-origins-of-covid-19-11621803078?mod=home-page.
Seventh, Chinese military “involvement in the Wuhan lab” is undeniable, and China’s military “has a documented biological weapons program.”
Eighth, the public record is replete with “attempts by Beijing to cover up the true circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak.” The cover-up began in late 2019 and continues to date.
Ninth, in a double-indictment, while Dr. Anthony Fauci swears the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) did not underwrite Wuhan’s damning “gain-of-function” (potential bioweapon) research, NIH did underwrite $3.7 million in 2014 for a non-profit, which in turn “steered at least $600,000 in NIH funding to the Wuhan lab for bat coronavirus research.”
Accordingly, while we cannot know US money given the non-profit funding Wuhan specifically funded “gain-of-function” (virus enhancing) bat coronavirus research, we know that money left NIH went to the non-profit, from there to Wuhan. Wuhan was doing that kind of work. See, https://taggs.hhs.gov/Detail/AwardDetail?arg_AwardNum=R01AI110964&arg_ProgOfficeCode=104; https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/gop-answers-fauci-wuhan-lab-research-covid-origin.
In other words, on top of China’s own military and civilian (Communist) Wuhan lab funding – the US poured money through a non-profit into the lab, presumably to prevent the kind of pandemic it likely created. And yes, Fauci knew this, said little about it. See, e.g., https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2021/05/23/tom_cotton_fauci_is_playing_word_games_about_gain-of-function_research_in_wuhan.html.
Tenth – not in the Republican report – many of those who were on the scene in Wuhan, including Chinse medical personnel and journalists – have “disappeared.” In Communist China, this is how truth is suppressed; you suppress the person who could tell it. See, e.g., https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-51486106; https://www.bing.com/search?q=wuhan+doctors+journalist+disappeared&form=EDGEAR&qs=PF&cvid=60bf2646e27c49ea8c607fb534c0be63&cc=US&setlang=en-US&plvar=0&PC=DCTS.
Finally, the Intelligence Committee report concludes “by contrast, little circumstantial evidence has emerged to support PRC’s [People’s Republic of China’s] claim that COVID-19 was a natural occurrence, having jumped from some other species to humans,” and “Chinese authorities have failed to identify the original species that allegedly spread the virus to humans, which is critical to their zoonotic transfer theory.”
Conclusion: “To protect American citizens from future pandemics, the U.S. Government must place more pressure on China to allow full, credible investigations of the source of the COVID-19 pandemic,” “allow probes of the likelihood that it resulted from a lab leak,” and “provide a full accounting of any American cooperation with the Wuhan lab’s coronavirus research, including the support of these projects through U.S. Government funds.”
In other words, overwhelming evidence supports the conclusion that China is the origin of a virus that killed more than 3.4 trillion people and cost more than $11 trillion dollars.
Unfortunately, while these findings – overwhelming circumstantial evidence – would be ample to convict China in most courts of law if China were a private party, the combination of foreign sovereign immunity laws, weak international judicial institutions, and China’s indifference to international law and norms means little can be done legally, although some are trying.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) are proposing a bill entitled “Holding the Chinese Communist Party Accountable for Infecting Americans Act of 2020,” which would “allow Americans to sue China and the Chinese Communist Party for damages,” in effect creating a waiver to the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act. See, e.g., https://www.ibtimes.com/missouri-becomes-first-us-state-sue-china-over-coronavirus-2962693#:~:text=1%20Missouri%20is%20the%20first%20U.S.%20state%20to, China%2C%20initiated%20by%20private%20groups%20in%20the%20U.S.; see also, https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/other/us-state-sues-china-over-covid-19-pandemic/ar-BB134ug7; https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2020/05/abbas-poorhashemi-lawsuits-china-covid19/#.
The real take-away – as with China’s other unaccountable economic, military, and diplomatic behavior – is that free peoples everywhere are on notice. China does not play by the rules, does not “own” damage done, is irresponsible, and is committed to global dominance. Not to see this – as the Intelligence Report implies – is not to understand the stakes. The public health, safety, and freedom of the world depend on understanding how China operates – and blunting it.