Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) spoke out following resurrected suspicions of the Chinese coronavirus originating in a Wuhan lab, urging Americans to “use your common sense” to analyze the situation.
“Put aside all of the other evidence and use your common sense. Isn’t it a remarkable coincidence that the virus happened to originate next to the Chinese lab that tests coronaviruses?” Cotton asked in a Monday social media post:
Put aside all of the other evidence and use your common sense.
Isn't it a remarkable coincidence that the virus happened to originate next to the Chinese lab that tests coronaviruses?
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) May 24, 2021
His remark follows reignited interest in the origins of the Chinese virus following a U.S. intel report finding that three Wuhan lab workers fell ill, exhibiting symptoms consistent with the Chinese coronavirus, or COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus], in Fall 2019, months before the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) declared a global pandemic.
Per the Wall Street Journal:
Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report that could add weight to growing calls for a fuller probe of whether the Covid-19 virus may have escaped from the laboratory.
The details of the reporting go beyond a State Department fact sheet, issued during the final days of the Trump administration, which said that several researchers at the lab, a center for the study of coronaviruses and other pathogens, became sick in autumn 2019 “with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illness.”The disclosure of the number of researchers, the timing of their illnesses and their hospital visits come on the eve of a meeting of the World Health Organization’s decision-making body, which is expected to discuss the next phase of an investigation into Covid-19’s origins.
“We continue to have serious questions about the earliest days of the Covid-19 pandemic, including its origins within the People’s Republic of China,” a National Security Council spokesperson said amid the report.
“We’re not going to make pronouncements that prejudge an ongoing WHO study into the source of SARS-CoV-2,” she added. “As a matter of policy, we never comment on intelligence issues.”
Notably, Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared to reverse course this month, stating he is “not convinced” the virus developed naturally.
“No, I’m not convinced about that. I think that we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we find out to the best of our ability exactly what happened,” Fauci told a PolitiFact reporter.
“Certainly, the people who’ve investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals,” he continued, adding, “but it could’ve been something else, and we need to find that out.”
“So, you know, that’s the reason why I said I’m perfectly in favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus,” Fauci added.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to take a definitive position Monday, telling reporters during the daily briefing, “What we can’t do, and what I would caution anyone doing is leaping ahead of an actual international process.”
“We don’t have enough data and information to jump to a conclusion at this point in time,” she said.