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Press Release Published: Apr 24, 2023

Wenstrup Leads Response to Attempted Interference in COVID-19 Origins Investigation by Chinese Embassy

WASHINGTON — Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and all Republican members of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic are requesting the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China make five Chinese scientists available for in-person, transcribed interviews related to the origins of COVID-19. Earlier this month, the Chinese Embassy contacted Chairman Wenstrup’s staff expressing firm opposition and “grave concern” with the Select Subcommittee’s COVID-19 origins hearing and called on Chairman Wenstrup to conduct an investigation based on “science.”

“Your staff says that science and scientists should be at the forefront of this investigation. Specifically stating that ‘origins-tracing is a complex matter of science’ and that ‘this study should be and can only be conducted jointly by scientists.’  We agree that science plays a key role in discovering the origins of COVID-19. As such, the Select Subcommittee is comprised of seven physicians from both sides of the aisle. Further, the Select Subcommittee has spoken to numerous scientists on either side of the debate and plans to continue to do so. The Select Subcommittee will continue to gather evidence, take testimony, and follow the facts,” the lawmakers wrote.

China’s continued complicity in suppressing the origination of COVID-19 and lack of transparency with world leaders harms the ability of nations to predict, prepare, protect, and prevent the next pandemic. As the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic continues its investigation into the origins of COVID-19, the members encourage the Chinese Embassy to cooperate with the request for access to scientists and information that could assist their investigation.  

The scientists requested for in-person, transcribed interviews are listed below:

  1. Dr. George Gao, Former Director, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  2. Dr. Shi Zhengli, Director, Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Wuhan Institute of Virology
  3. Dr. Ben Hu, Researcher, Wuhan Institute of Virology
  4. Dr. Chen Wei, Major General, People’s Liberation Army
  5. Huang Yanling (if alive), Researcher, Wuhan Institute of Virology 

The letter to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China can be found here.