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Press Release Published: Jun 29, 2021

Comer Statement at COVID Origins Forum: Congress Must Seek Answers for Grieving Families Who Lost Loved Ones, Hold China Accountable

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) opened today’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis forum entitled “Led By Science: The COVID-19 Origin Story” by emphasizing the need for a full and complete investigation into the virus’ origins in order to prevent another pandemic.

In his remarks, Ranking Member Comer outlined the many actions the Chinese Communist Party took to mislead the world, spread propaganda, and enable the coronavirus to run unchecked for far too long and how the World Health Organization aided its cover-up. He also raised concerns that the U.S. National Institutes of Health deleted the early sequences of COVID-19 cases from its database at the behest of the Chinese Communist Party. Ranking Member Comer pointed to the growing evidence indicating a lab leak and concluded by calling for Communist China to be held accountable for unleashing the pandemic on the world. 

Below are Oversight Ranking Member Comer’s remarks as prepared for delivery.

“Thank you, Ranking Member Scalise for your leadership and diligence on behalf of the American people to determine the origins of this virus which has devastated our country.

“It is essential to understand the origins of this virus in order to prevent it from happening again.

“Without a full and comprehensive investigation, we cannot adequately prepare for the next outbreak.

“The Chinese Communist Party spent the majority of the last year and a half misleading the world, spreading propaganda, and enabling this virus to run unchecked for far too long.

“The Chinese Communist Party intentionally concealed the severity of COVID-19 to stockpile medical supplies to the detriment of the global supply chain.

“The Chinese Communist Party led an effort to control and conceal information regarding their true infection and death rates.

“But they did not act alone.

“The World Health Organization helped the Chinese Communist Party by supporting and spreading their lies and propaganda.

“The World Health Organization denied that human-to-human spread of COVID-19 could occur based solely on Chinese Communist Party propaganda in early January 2020.

“When it became clear that human-to-human transmission was in fact, occurring, the World Health Organization delayed labeling the pandemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, because the Chinese Communist Party threatened to stop all international COVID-19 efforts if it made that determination.

“The World Health Organization failed to issue common sense restrictions on travel to and from China despite evidence the virus was transmitting when people traveled.

“The World Health Organization, in an attempt to cover their tracks and perpetuate the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda, issued a one-sided report on the origins of the virus in April 2021.

“This report had no chance of being accurate because:

  • The Chinese Communist Party was given full veto power over inclusion of American scientists and they vetoed the inclusion of three American scientists put forward by HHS;
  • The Chinese Communist Party designed the mission’s itinerary and refused access to Chinese scientists and raw data—the two most important sources of information on the origins of this virus;
  • At the behest of the Chinese Communist Party, the World Health Organization altered their mission to include far-fetched origin claims—like shipped frozen food; and
  • The Chinese Communist Party was given full power to edit and alter the final report.

“How could we expect anything close to a full investigation and accurate report when the government seemingly responsible for the outbreak controls the entire investigation?

“In short, China lied, the World Health Organization complied, and people died. Those responsible for the deaths of 600,000 Americans must be held accountable. And Congress must seek answers for grieving families who lost loved ones during the pandemic.

“Of further concern, it has recently come to light that the Chinese Communist Party demanded that the National Institutes of Health delete the early sequences of COVID-19 cases from their database.

“In order to best understand the origins of this pandemic, it is important to look at how the virus initially emerged in the human population.

“This information is most accurately found in the first infected patients.

“Without this data it becomes increasingly hard to uncover the truth.

“This is yet another link in the long chain of Chinese Communist Party cover up actions and raises important questions about whether there were additional sequences that the Chinese Communist Party failed to share with the world or deleted after COVID-19 began to spread.

“Despite repeated attempts by the Chinese Communist Party to cover up the origins of this virus, a significant amount of data has been collected and analyzed in the last year and a half—evidence we will uncover during this forum.

“Evidence that this virus came from a lab-modified version of a bat coronavirus is continuing to grow.

“As we will hear from our witnesses today, every scientific test that distinguishes between the theories of the virus jumping from an animal to a human and the virus originating from a lab leak gives results that highly favor the lab origin theory.

“We have yet to see any hard data that supports this virus came directly from animal to human.

“I look forward to hearing more from our distinguished colleagues about their efforts to uncover the truth and look forward to hearing from our panel of experts. Their work is fundamental to preventing the next pandemic and we thank them for it.

“I yield back.”