Probe Into COVID-19 Origins By House Republicans Veers Toward Lab Leak Theory - Lawmaker

Probe Into COVID-19 Origins by House Republicans Veers Toward Lab Leak Theory - Lawmaker

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 02nd August, 2021) An investigation into the origins of the coronavirus initiated by Republican lawmakers inclines to the theory that the pandemic was triggered by a genetically modified virus that leaked from a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the first COVID-19 hotbed, House member Michael McCaul said on Monday.

The GOP investigation, based on open source materials, is conducted in parallel with a review into the COVID-19 origins by the US intelligence ordered by President Joe Biden's administration. McCaul released on Monday a third installment in the probe.

"As we continue to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe it's time to completely dismiss the wet market as the source of the outbreak. Instead, as this report lays out, a preponderance of the evidence proves that all roads lead to the WIV [Wuhan Institute of Virology]," McCaul said in a statement, as cited by The Hill.

The investigation has also established that the laboratory was conducting "gain-of-function" research when scientists genetically modify a bacteria or virus to make it more infectious in a bid to find out more about preventative measures in an unsafe environment, the news outlet reported.

Additionally, the findings suggest that the first COVID-19 cases occurred a few months earlier in August or September of 2019 and not mid-November, as other reports said.

In March, the World Health Organization released the full version of a report by an international group of experts of the organization on a visit to the Chinese city of Wuhan the world's first hotbed of the coronavirus. They concluded that the leak from the lab was "extremely unlikely," while the virus was most likely transmitted to humans from bats through an intermediary animal.