At COVID Origins Hearing, Democrats Show They Will Play the Race Card Early and Often


In what promises to be a partisan brawl, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform convened its first hearing on the mystery of COVID-19’s origins on Wednesday and from the start, Democrats made it clear they wanted to play partisan games.

The committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), argued against the inclusion of writer Nicholas Wade as a witness not because of anything he’s written about COVID but because of a book he wrote a decade ago that was embraced by white supremacists.

“Today’s hearing marks a concerning step down the path of letting extremism get in the way of an inquiry that should be led by science and facts,” Ruiz said. Ruiz requested that Wade be removed as a witness for his purported “discredited, unscientific and harmful views.”

“These views are dangerous and have no place in a hearing examining the origin of a pandemic that has disproportionately and overwhelmingly harmed communities of color in the United States,” he continued. Ruiz accused that by giving Wade a platform, Republicans were damaging the credibility of the hearing.

Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) pointed out that Republicans sent the witness list to Ruiz and the Democrats last week and questioned why Ruiz waited until today to make a stink.

Wade defended himself. “I think I should briefly try to respond to the attempt by ranking member Ruiz to discredit my testimony by saying a number of untrue things about the book I wrote ten years ago on the biology of race. This was a determinedly non-racist book,” Wade said.

“It has no scientific errors that I am aware of. It has no racist statements, and it stresses the theme of unity that we are all variations on the same human genome. My book was vigorously attacked by obscurantist academics who want everyone else to believe that there is no biological basis to race. And my book was as welcome to them as pictures of the Earth from space are to flat-earthers,” he continued.

Fox News:

Wade is a former New York Times science editor who has also worked on the journals Science and Nature. In May 2021, he wrote a 10,000-word article on Medium titled, “The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?” in which he questioned the origins of the coronavirus, presenting evidence that suggested it could have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Wade’s article sparked intense debate within the scientific community because it challenged the more prevalent scientific view that the virus has natural origins.

Though initially derided as a conspiracy theory, the lab-leak hypothesis of the origins of COVID-19 has steadily gained credibility as the natural origins hypothesis has failed to be conclusively proven. FBI Director Christopher Wray told Fox News that the COVID-19 pandemic was likely caused by a lab-leak in Wuhan following a similar analysis from the Department of Energy.

Democrats have a vested interest in discrediting the lab leak theory since they spent the better part of two years trying to do just that. Now that evidence has emerged that challenges the dominant narrative, they feel it necessary to discredit those who are arguing for the lab leak hypothesis.

Exclusively for our VIPs: Why I Don’t Trust Sneering FBI Director Chris Wray on Admitting COVID Lab Leak

As part of the distraction campaign, Democrats demanded Republicans sign a letter condemning “white supremacy” — as of it had anything to do with the hearing.

The Independent:

An accompanying letter from by the committee’s top Democrat, US Rep Jamie Raskin, argued that “dangerous and conspiratorial rhetoric echoing the racist and nativist tropes peddled by white supremacists and right-wing extremists” was invoked by committee Republicans during recent hearings on immigration policy and the US-Mexico border.

Currently, there is no clear evidence for either a zoonotic origin for COVID-19 or a leak from the Wuhan lab. After three years of looking and examing tens of thousands of animals in China for a sign that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus emerged in the wild, researchers have yet to find an animal with a similar kind of coronavirus. This is not unusual. It sometimes takes many years of looking before a zoonotic transmission of a new virus can be confirmed or disproved.

But it’s wrong to make the claim — as some on the right are doing — that because the FBI and Energy Department have concluded that the virus leaked from a lab, that’s unequivocal proof that the lab leak theory is correct. In fact, there are nine federal intelligence agencies on the committee formed by the president to investigate the origins of the virus; five of the other agencies subscribe to the zoonotic theory and two are still unsure.

Also, about 70% of scientists and researchers agree with the zoonotic theory. Two extensive, peer-reviewed papers in Science in July 2022 offered the strongest evidence to date that the COVID-19 pandemic originated in animals at a market in Wuhan, China. On the other hand, most evidence for the lab leak is top secret, thanks to the means by which the information came to us.

Goats and Soda:

The data in the 2022 studies paints an incredibly detailed picture of the early days of the pandemic. Photographic and genetic data pinpoint a specific stall at the market where the coronavirus likely was transmitted from an animal into people. And a genetic analysis estimates the time, within weeks, when not just one but two spillovers occurred. It calculates that the coronavirus jumped into people once in late November or early December and then again few weeks later.

At this exact same time, a huge COVID outbreak occurred at the market. Hundreds of people, working and shopping at the market, were likely infected. That outbreak is the first documented one of the pandemic, and it then spilled over into the community, as one of the Science papers shows.

Where this committee will be most helpful is in discovering why so many scientists and researchers in government refused to even investigate the lab leak theory seriously. Did they have a financial motive to squash research? Was it political?

These are issues that the committee can investigate and perhaps find some answers to.

Las Vegas News Magazine

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