COVID-19 origins probe plods on with no clear resolution – JP
A provision that would have created an independent, bipartisan investigative panel modeled after the probe into the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks stalled last year after the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved it as part of the PREVENT Pandemics Act, a broader pandemic prevention bill.
Former Senate HELP Chair Patty Murray, D-Wash., publicly called for the provision to be included with other portions that ultimately hitched a ride in the fiscal 2023 omnibus.
“While there is more to do to strengthen our public health system beyond these reforms — and I will keep pushing on this issue no matter what — the PREVENT Pandemics Act represents meaningful, bipartisan progress, carefully negotiated between Republicans and Democrats over nearly a year,” she said in December.
And another bipartisan investigation from HELP Committee leaders appears to be stalled under the committee’s new leadership. The only report that was ultimately published was an “interim” GOP version from the committee’s former top Republican, North Carolina’s Richard M. Burr, before he retired last year.
The committee is now governed by Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and ranking member Bill Cassidy, R-La. Murray now leads the Appropriations Committee.