House GOP, Democrats reports on COVID-19 origin differ

Coronavirus

(NewsNation) — GOP leaders are threatening to use subpoenas to find out exactly what the intelligence community knew about the coronavirus and if there were any ties to China’s bioweapons program.

On Wednesday, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a report saying intelligence groups downplayed vital information on a possibility that COVID-19 originated from Chinese experimentation related to its biological weapons program.

Speaking to reporters by phone on Thursday, Ohio Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup, who serves on the intelligence committee, spoke about the need for answers and how intelligence officers could be subpoenaed to provide crucial information.

“You know, in our report, no one is saying that we have clear evidence that China did something intentional,” Wenstrup said. “We don’t have the smoking gun, but we’re just trying to get to the truth and I think all Americans should be in favor of that.”

This all comes as Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released their findings as part of a report released on Thursday alleging the intelligence community pivoted very slowly to learn more about the origins of COVID-19 during the early days of the pandemic and provide early warnings.

Once intelligence groups did start providing dire warnings about COVID-19 in late January 2020, the report from Democrats alleges that former President Donald Trump failed to follow them until March, when he declared a national emergency.

The Democratic investigators allege there was a disconnect between the intelligence community and the Trump White House, and the government could have been far more prepared.

The intelligence community determined COVID-19 was likely not developed as a biological weapon, but Republicans say they never got the info on how that conclusion was made. 

The Republicans’ report does not allege that China engineered COVID-19 as a biological weapon, only that House Republicans believe that theories of an accidental lab leak cannot be ruled out.

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