Sen. Marshall Statement on HELP Committee Republicans’ Report on COVID-19 Origins
(Washington, D.C., October 27, 2022) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. issued the following statement regarding the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Republicans’ report on COVID-19’s origins that was released earlier today:
“I applaud Ranking Member Burr and the HELP Committee Republican staff investigators for their evidence-based report that confirms the possibility that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted from a research-related incident. I urge my colleagues to support our efforts to immediately pause all risky research on potential pandemic pathogens and reform how federally-funded research is conducted with organizations in countries of concern. The lack of NIH grant oversight may have contributed to the horrible introduction of COVID-19 to the world and it is imperative for NIH to start cooperating and help us fix the institutional culture that has proven to be incapable of self-regulation. If Dr. Fauci is truly open minded, as he claims to be, then he will release all texts, emails, communications, and grant records completely and without redactions. We owe it to the Americans who have lost their lives to the virus, their families, and those still struggling with the pandemic’s societal and economic consequences, to continue investigating the coronavirus’s origins.”
Key Highlights from the Report:
- Experts have proposed two dominant theories on the origins of the virus: (1) the virus is the result of a natural zoonotic spillover or (2) the virus infected humans as a consequence of a research-related incident. This report has reviewed open-source, publicly available information relevant to the origins of the virus.
- While it remains possible that SARS-CoV-2 emerged as a result of a natural zoonotic spillover, facts and evidence found in previous documented zoonotic spillover events have not, to date, been identified in relation to this pandemic. Such gaps include the failure to identify the original host reservoir, the failure to identify a candidate intermediate host species, and the lack of serological or epidemiological evidence showing transmission from animals to humans, among others outlined in this report. As a result of these evidentiary gaps, it is hard to treat the natural zoonotic spillover theory as the presumptive origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Substantial evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic was the result of a research-related incident associated with a laboratory in Wuhan, China. A research-related incident is consistent with the early epidemiology showing rapid spread of the virus exclusively in Wuhan with the earliest calls for assistance being located in the same district as the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s (WIV) original campus in central Wuhan. The WIV is an epicenter of advanced coronavirus research, where researchers have collected samples of and experimented on high-risk coronaviruses.
- This report describes a pattern of persistent biosafety problems at the WIV as indicated by a series of patents and procurements relevant to the biocontainment of a highly-pathogenic virus, like SARS-CoV-2. Also outlined in this report are a series of management and training concerns at the WIV further indicating biosafety problems and an unsafe work environment for laboratory personnel. The research-related incident hypothesis also explains the low genetic diversity of the earliest known SARS-CoV-2 human infections and the failure to identify an intermediate host and any animal infections pre-dating human COVID-19 cases.
- This investigation’s interim report concludes that SARS-CoV-2 and the resulting COVID-19 global pandemic was, more likely than not, the result of a research-related incident associated with coronavirus research in Wuhan, China.
One year ago, Senator Marshall led a group of colleagues in introducing the Viral Gain of Function Research Moratorium Act to place a moratorium on all federal research grants to universities and other organizations conducting gain-of-function research and risky research on potential pandemic pathogens. This legislation was in response to the congressional inquiries and various media investigations revealing national security issues including federal agencies authorizing dangerous research with certain foreign entities that may have contributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having been the first member of Congress to sound the alarm on the House floor about the spread of COVID-19 and later serving on the frontlines as a volunteer treating patients in Wyandotte County and Seward County, Senator Marshall has been leading the effort in the U.S. Senate to get to the bottom of the origins of COVID-19.
Senator Marshall led a group of Senators on a letter to Samantha Power, Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), demanding that her agency suspend its taxpayer-funded financial awards to EcoHealth Alliance (EcoHealth), a U.S. nonprofit organization led by Peter Daszak. USAID’s unwillingness to cooperate with congressional requests for information regarding its funding of organizations like EcoHealth has previously led Senator Marshall to delay Senate consideration of USAID nominees from confirmation, to which USAID responded by providing some records. The effort is ongoing. The Senators’ letter outlines EcoHealth’s history of noncompliance with federal grant requirements, as well as the organization’s dishonesty about its use of federal grants to fund research at foreign labs like the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China.
Senator Marshall asked questions during a U.S. Senate hearing on the federal government’s involvement with GoF research projects in China. At the same hearing, Senator Marshall connected Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to efforts to push GoF research out of the United States and into China through EcoHealth Alliance. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s full line of questioning during the hearing.
Video was released of Hudson Institute Senior Fellow David Asher, who led the State Department’s COVID-19 origins investigation for the Trump Administration, interviewing Senator Marshall about his leadership in the investigation into the COVID-19 pandemic’s origins and the implications of future gain-of-function research to avoid these types of leaks from reoccurring. Nearly three years after COVID-19’s emergence the world still lacks basic answers on the pandemic’s origins; the Chinese cover up of its rapidly emerging spread; how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sought to change key scientists’ opinions about a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology; and why there is a lack accountability, transparency, and responsibility among scientists and public health officials in the United States and around the world. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch the interview.
Senator Marshall and U.S. Representative Jim Jordan (OH) released a video detailing Dr. Tony Fauci’s involvement with the COVID-19 China cover up. The video comes on the heels of Dr. Fauci refusing to stop using U.S. taxpayer dollars to award China grants following a question by Senator Marshall at a committee hearing. Senator Marshall and Representative Jordan have been leading the fight to uncover the origins of COVID-19. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall and Representative Jordan’s video.
At a hearing when Senator Marshall asked Dr. Fauci if he would stop using U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund Chinese Communist Party research projects – such as EcoHealth Alliance’s activities at the Wuhan Institute of Virology – Dr. Fauci admitted his agency does not have any plans to do so. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s full exchange with Dr. Fauci.
In February 2022, Senator Marshall penned an op-ed for the Washington Examiner about the nearly ten billion dollars in funding controlled by Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins and how those dollars appear to have influenced scientists worldwide on their opinion of COVID origins.
Upon joining the U.S. Senate in 2021, Senator Marshall released a multi-step path forward on getting to the bottom of the origins of COVID-19 and holding China accountable for its actions surrounding the earliest days of the outbreak. Since then, he has introduced the Chinese Communist Party Accountability Act to place sanctions on the top two Chinese health officials with early ties to the COVID-19 outbreak who obfuscated actionable information; the Viral Gain of Function Research Moratorium Act to place a moratorium on all federal research grants to universities and other organizations conducting gain-of-function research and risky research on potential pandemic pathogens; and the National BioSecurity Improvement Act to ensure federally-funded research involving potentially dangerous pathogens does not compromise national security. You may click HERE or on the image below to read the Senator’s multi-step path forward.
The Senator introduced a resolution calling for a bipartisan Select Committee to investigate the origins of COVID-19. The Senate passed a bipartisan amendment offered by Senator Marshall and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) calling for a transparent investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak mandated by the World Health Assembly during its current session, which ends on Monday. Additionally, if China continues on its path of cover-up and obfuscation, the Marshall-Gillibrand Amendment demands a full, transparent investigation to include the U.S. and our allies and partners around the world. In fact, Senators Marshall and Gillibrand held the first joint bipartisan Senate briefing on the origins of COVID-19 bringing together healthcare, national security, medical, and academic experts. In November 2021, Senators Marshall and Gillibrand joined forces with Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to introduce bipartisan legislation to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate COVID-19 origins and identify lessons learned regarding U.S. preparedness, response, and recovery to improve our ability to respond to future outbreaks. Senators Marshall and Gillibrand were on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss the legislation, which you may watch by clicking HERE or on the image below. In the following months, he secured this 9/11 Style COVID task force in the Senate HELP Committee’s bipartisan PREVENT Pandemics Act.
Senator Marshall was the first U.S. Senator to demand answers from the DOD and HHS on possible COVID-19 infections of U.S. Army troops who participated in the 2019 World Military Games that took place in Wuhan, China from October 18-28, 2019.