House GOP demands coronavirus origin investigation after opposing one for Capitol riot


House Republicans have their own priorities.

Nearly every House Republican signed a letter on Friday demanding the chamber launch a "full investigation" into the origins of the coronavirus — days after President Joe Biden ordered an intelligence investigation into the same question.

But the vast majority of the signers voted last week against a bipartisan investigation into the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

"209 Republicans sent a letter to Pelosi demanding she allow investigations into the Wuhan lab. Dems haven't held a hearing on it," tweeted House Minority Whip Steve Scalise on Friday. "Big Tech censored posts about it. The media attacked people who talked about it. China can't get away with this. Americans deserve answers."

"Proud to join my Republican colleagues in calling for a complete and thorough investigation into the origins of the #COVID19 pandemic," said Rep. Austin Pfluger of Texas. 

"The American people deserve a full and open investigation about the origins of COVID-19," wrote North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn.

"I signed this letter. A thorough, impartial investigation is needed. We must know the truth and hold China accountable," wrote Florida Rep. Daniel Webster.

Republicans are seizing on an unproven theory that the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic accidentally or intentionally spread from a Wuhan laboratory. Several of the comments demanded China be held accountable before determining whether this hypothesis is actually true.

On Wednesday, Biden announced he has "asked the Intelligence Community" to investigate the origins of the virus "and to report back to me in 90 days." He also directed the investigation "keep Congress fully apprised of its work."

But the House's enthusiasm for "full and open" investigation was not on display exactly one week earlier. Then, 175 of the 211 Republicans in the House — including the leadership — voted against a GOP-requested bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly January attempt to overturn the 2020 elections. Just 35 Republicans backed the proposal.

One of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's excuses for opposing the panel — even though he had gotten almost exactly what he'd requested in negotiations — was that he did not want to duplicate existing investigations.

"Given the political misdirections that have marred this process, given the now duplicative and potentially counterproductive nature of this effort, and given the Speaker's shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation," he said in a statement.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.