Chairman Schiff Statement on COVID-19 Origins Report
Washington DC, August 27, 2021
“I appreciate the comprehensive analysis the Intelligence Community has undertaken on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic at the direction of President Biden. Determining the source of the pandemic, including whether it originated from animal to human transmission or a lab accident, is critically important. As the unclassified report indicates, the Intelligence Community has not been able to reach a high-confidence assessment about the origins of the virus. It is important that we allow analysts, along with medical and scientific experts, to conduct their work professionally and without bias or politicization. In the weeks ahead, the Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing to learn more about the intelligence and how it informed the report delivered today.
“What is clear is that China’s continued obstruction of a transparent, comprehensive examination of the relevant facts and data remains the single greatest impediment to determining the source of the virus. This stonewalling approach is unacceptable and delays the vital work necessary to prevent the next potential pandemic.
“The Intelligence Committee has undertaken a ‘deep dive’ to review the IC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and its posture on global health threats. The IC has long warned that biological threats, whether manmade or naturally occurring, pose a substantial risk to national security, and the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated that we need to do more to meet that threat. I am working on reforms to help the IC to respond if, and when, the next pandemic disease arises.”