Media Contact 202-225-5021

Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul testified before the Coronavirus Select Subcommittee Republicans to layout evidence he’s collected pointing to the COVID-19 outbreak beginning at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). In his testimony, McCaul detailed the evidence he has collected pointing to the WIV as the source of the pandemic. He also highlighted new information that will be detailed in his upcoming addendum to “The Origins of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic” report he issued last fall.

“As we continue this investigation, I believe it’s time to completely dismiss the wet market as the source of the outbreak. We have a confirmed case 10 days before the wet market cluster that had no connection to the market itself…But as a former federal prosecutor, I can tell you the preponderance of the evidence that it came from the lab is very convincing.”

Click to Watch.

Full Transcript:

Thank you for having me today. As many of you know, I began investigating the origins of COVID-19 in April last year. And I released my initial report last September. In that report, we touched on the possibility that it could have come from the lab. After continuing to research this topic, I now feel comfortable concluding it more likely than not came from the lab.

Unfortunately, we may never know for certain because the Chinese Communist Party went to great lengths to cover up this outbreak. They detained the doctors in order to silence them. They disappeared journalists. They destroyed lab samples. They hid the fact there was clear evidence of human-to-human transmission. And they have refused to allow a real investigation into the origins.

At the same time, the WHO – under Director General Tedros – failed to warn the world of the impending pandemic. Instead, he parroted CCP talking points and was really acting as a puppet of General Secretary Xi. 

Now, more than one year later, at least 4 million people have lost their lives – including more than 600,000 Americans.

Unfortunately, the Biden Administration is refusing to take investigating the origins of this virus seriously. They are pushing for yet another WHO investigation – even after the last one was so tainted by the CCP that even Tedros has said more investigations needed to be done. That’s why we are here today. Because the president and congressional Democrats are forcing us to do this work alone.

As we continue this investigation, I believe it’s time to completely dismiss the wet market as the source of the outbreak. We have a confirmed case 10 days before the wet market cluster that had no connection to the market itself. And even the CCP has admitted they don’t believe the virus originated at the wet market.

But as a former federal prosecutor, I can tell you the preponderance of the evidence that it came from the lab is very convincing.

State Department cables from 2018 detail significant concerns about safety protocols not being followed at the new campus of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. We know this was not the first instance of safety protocols being ignored at Chinese labs. In 2004, SARS leaked from a similar lab in Beijing. We now know that at the same time of the State Department cables – and for several years before – scientists at the WIV were conducting gain-of-function research at both the new and old facilities. Some of this research was conducted in BSL-2 labs – even though that kind of research should be conducted at BSL-4 labs.

In addition, in a city five times larger than the city of Houston, the first signs of a new illness were all clustered around the old WIV facility.

Then, on September 12th, 2019, the WIV suddenly took their virus database offline. Removing the database would prevent hospitals in the city from comparing samples from sick patients to the lab’s library of viruses. If the CCP was attempting to cover up a leak of a coronavirus being studied at the WIV, this would remove the ability to link COVID-19 back to the WIV.

According to a Harvard study, in the following weeks five of the six hospitals surrounding the old WIV saw the highest daily average of cars in their parking lot in two and a half years. This indicates people around the old WIV facility were suddenly sicker than usual. And they were visiting hospitals at a higher rate than usual. If an outbreak had begun around September from a leak, this is exactly what we would see.

And new testimony received by my committee reveals the Chinese military potentially took over the lab in 2019 – not in January 2020 as was initially reported. That signals the CCP was worried about something at the lab before the world even knew what COVID-19 was.

In October 2019, Wuhan hosted the 2019 World Military Games. These are similar to the Olympics – but with military personnel competing. More than 9,300 athletes from over 100 countries came to the city. It should have been a massive public relations opportunity for the CCP. Yet no fans or observers were allowed to attend. There were reports of roads being blocked, with athletes describing Wuhan as a ghost town. If a virus had leaked from the lab in early September and there was an uptick in hospital visits around the old WIV, the CCP would likely be worried. This would potentially lead them to lock down the city and ban fans from the games.

Most telling of all, dozens of athletes have recently come forward saying they got sick while at the games with what we would now classify as COVID-like symptoms. The village where the athletes lived was less than 8 miles from the old WIV and connected to downtown Wuhan by a new subway stop.

I now believe this was actually one of the earliest COVID-19 super-spreader events.

At least four of these athletes were from countries who have now confirmed the virus was circulating within their borders in November and December of 2019 – Italy, Brazil, France and Sweden. This would be the exact time frame to indicate it entered their borders in late October – likely from the Military Games’ athletes who contracted it in October.

I have also discovered some very important new facts. They not only point to the Wuhan Institute of Virology being the likeliest point of origin, but they establish a high likelihood that the virus was manmade as well. I believe we have found the answer to the question, quote “how did this virus from a cave 1,000 miles away get to the middle of a city of 11 million.”

Next month, House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans will release an updated Origins report that will detail all of our new findings. Thank you again for having me today and I look forward to your questions.