February 27, 2024

Understanding the origins of COVID-19 will prepare us for the future

By Mariannette Miller-Meeks

As a doctor and former Director of Public Health in Iowa, I believe Americans deserve to know how the devastating COVID-19 pandemic began. Our nation has lost faith in the government institutions that oversee the scientific community, and the only way to restore their trust is through full transparency. All of us remember the constant attacks and censorship from media and so-called experts of anyone who suggested the Wuhan lab leak theory needed a deeper look. Fast forward to 2023, and the Department of Energy and FBI have both concluded that COVID-19 most likely emanated from a lab leak at the Wuhan Virology Institute in Wuhan, China.

We have extraordinary evidence that the virus originated from a lab, so why did the scientific community dangerously suppress that evidence? Was it for personal financial gain? Was it to provide cover for U.S. funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology? Or to hide “gain of function” research prohibited in the US? I would state with confidence that this suppression has led to the exact mistrust and conspiracy theories government bureaucrats tried to avoid.

Understanding the origins will help prevent and prepare for futures pandemics by addressing and reinforcing lab safety, immediate disclosures of virulent viruses, and the ethics of types of research, i.e. gain of function.

This week, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic held its first hearing on the origins of the Coronavirus to answer these very questions. For two years, House Democrats have refused to conduct any meaningful investigation into the origins and are even making baseless claims that our investigation is rooted in white supremacy and hatred. This dangerous rhetoric is nothing more than a weak attempt to distract the American people from realizing just how much information was concealed during the early pandemic days.

The U.S. Senate and House have now unanimously passed a bill that would require the Director of National Intelligence to declassify all records relating to the origins of COVID-19. This critically important legislation will now be sent to President Biden’s desk for final approval and is one more key step in providing Americans with the transparency they deserve. We can only hope that President Biden agrees and will sign the bill.

I will always fight to keep the people of Iowa both safe and informed. We can’t afford to be caught off guard if another virus arises that could have been prevented. I hope that folks will keep an eye on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis as we fight for answers that all Americans deserve.

Mariannette Miller-Meeks currently represents Iowa’s First District in the United States House of Representatives.