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GOP lawmakers fault COVID-19 lab report, want more released under bipartisan law

A senior House Republican says a new report on possible links between the coronavirus outbreak and the virology lab in Wuhan, China, is insufficient and he wants the Biden administration to release underlying intelligence instead of topline findings.

Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio said the public deserves to see more than the 10-page report released late Friday, which served as a summary of findings and did not offer conclusions about whether the virus arose from nature or the Chinese lab.

“We want the intelligence released, not their opinion about the intelligence. If we wanted their opinion, we would have asked for it,” Mr. Turner told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

The director of national intelligence report says it looked into findings of lab workers falling ill in late 2019, a development that is often viewed as a close link between the lab and the discovery of the virus in Wuhan. However, it couldn’t conclude whether those persons had COVID-19 or something else.

The report said both a natural and lab-associated origin from the Wuhan Institute of Virology “remain possible hypotheses.”

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines released the report under a bipartisan law, which President Biden signed in March and requires the release of any intelligence related to the virus and the lab.

Some lawmakers were disappointed by the report and want the underlying evidence.

“We’ve asked to open the curtain and release the intelligence, and they went behind the curtain, read the stuff and came out and said, ‘This is what we think about it,’” Mr. Turner said. 

He said that is “not sufficient” and will set up a battle between Congress and the DNI to ensure the administration complies with the law and the American public get “the answers they deserve.”

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

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