Washington, DC – Today, Representative Andy Barr (KY-06) introduced House Concurrent Resolution 97, establishing a bicameral, bipartisan joint select committee to investigate the origins of and China’s handling of the 2019 novel Coronavirus. The Committee will conduct an investigation and issue a report to the House and Senate on findings regarding the following issues:
• The origins and causes of the Coronavirus, including evidence the virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab, as well as China’s response to the outbreak.
• China’s suppression of information and perpetuation of misinformation and conspiracy theories regarding the Coronavirus—including blaming the United States Military for its spread.
• The Chinese government’s denial of humanitarian assistance by foreign governments, NGOs, charitable and faith-based organizations.
• China’s actions to influence the World Health Organization’s response to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
• China’s efforts to manipulate and weaponize the global supply chain.
• Recommendations to improve and secure the United States’ access to critical medical supplies and pharmaceutical components in the global supply chain.
The Committee would be comprised of 20 members of Congress, 10 from the House and 10 from the Senate, led by two Co-Chairs, one from each Chamber. The Committee will have subpoena power, access to legislative staff, bring on experts and consultants, and be able to use documents from other relevant Committees to conduct a full and complete investigation. The Committee will terminate after issuing the final report.
“Thousands of Americans have been killed by the COVID-19 virus, our economy has been subject to a government-imposed shutdown and American life has been turned upside down in every way because of this pandemic,” Congressman Barr said. “China lied from the very beginning about this virus. They covered up the origins and severity of the disease, they underreported their initial cases, they manipulated the World Health Organization to spread misinformation about person-to-person transmission, and they embarked on an elaborate scheme to hoard personal protective equipment and weaponize the global supply chain of critical medical and pharmaceutical supplies against the international community, including the United States. The Chinese Communist Party put us all at risk and Americans deserve answers to basic questions about the origins of this pandemic and China’s deceptive and destructive behavior. It’s time for Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities, expose the truth and hold China accountable.”