GOP Rep's COVID Legislation Seeks Information on 'One of the Most Remarkable Things in History'
On Thursday, Rep. John Rose (R-TN), introduced the Unmasking the Origins of COVID-19 Act, which, according to his office, "seeks to reward individuals who provide credible information regarding the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak. This legislation would also encourage disclosure of nonpublic information related to gain of function research conducted at or in connection with Chinese laboratories, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)." The congressman spoke with Townhall about the legislation.
When it comes to this latest effort to getting to the bottom of the virus' outbreak, Rep. Rose said he "can't imagine" there wouldn't be bipartisan support, and likened it to the capture of killing of Osama Bin Laden. "Certainly the harm done here by the coronavirus is unquestionable and is perhaps one of the most remarkable things in history in terms of the impact on humanity," the congressman said, which includes lives lost and impacted here in the United States.
There were plenty of examples to discuss which Rep. Rose said "would point to the fact that we haven't heard all the facts that the Chinese Communist Party has actively concealed information about the origins of COVID." At particular issue though was how there were "stonewalled efforts early on."
The includes with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the conflicts of interests with Dr. Peter Daszak being part of the early investigations into origins of the virus. Dr. Daszak is the CEO of EcoHealth Alliance, an NIH grantee which funded the WIV. The early investigations from the WHO are shown to have dismissed the theory as conspiracy theories.
In more recent days, figures such as those with the Biden administration and Dr. Tedros with the WHO have acknowledged that previously ruling out the lab leak theory was premature.
Now that the WHO is calling for a more thorough look into the lab leak theory, the CCP is no longer so friendly.
But there are many more examples, many of them included in a May 24 report from The Wall Street Journal.
For instance, three WIV employees became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought local medical care.
In September 2019, the WIV took down what was once a public database of its samples and virus sequences, citing cyber attacks.
Satellite imagery also showed increased activity at the local Wuhan hospital.
Rep. Rose says these examples "point to a coverup by the Chinese Communist Party." That they are so afraid of getting to the truth, and a more comprehensive phase two investigation from the WHO, for instance, is further evidence that the CCP "is probably an indication that they have something to hide."
In seeing how the CCP deals with such matters, Rep. Rose reminded, "we simply can't allow our public health officials or the World Health Organization or any other groups to stand in the way of us having access to the information that is necessary."
The information provided by people coming forth would be vetted before the person is to receive any kind of reward.
The congressman is hopeful that others like Dr. Li Wenliang could come forward, the 34-year old doctor who died from the Wuhan coronavirus, but not before raising the alarm about its existence. Rep. Rose says the treatment of Dr. Li "underscores the lengths that the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese government will go to and go to on a regular basis to suppress the truth and to suppress factual information."
He spoke of how such rewards have worked in the past, but also spoke of how "there's a tremendous disincentive if you're a Chinese nationalist" who has information about such origins.
Americans "deserve" to know this information, including from our own officials who may not have been forthcoming enough on this. This is why, the congressman offered, we ought to encourage Chinese nationalists or anyone else who might have information when it comes not only to origins, but to do with gain of function information.
"The evidence is out there," Rep. Rose affirmed. And, while much of it may have been destroyed, he acknowledged, because so many officials did not take it seriously enough early on, it's still worth investigating.
This legislation is part of the Republican Study Committee’s Countering Communist China Act, which serves as an alternative to the Endless Frontier Act when it comes to countering the threat of the CCP.