Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Monday called to declassify documents showing that scientists at a major federal agency believe the COVID-19 pandemic occurred due to a leak at a Chinese lab.
“Classified documents leaked (they should be declassified!) showing scientists at DOE believe COVID leaked from Wuhan Lab,” Paul tweeted Monday. Included in the post was a link to a Wall Street Journal article detailing the Department of Energy’s conclusion in support of the lab leak theory.
Formerly maligned as a conspiracy theory, the notion that COVID-19 originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology has gained substantial traction in both the government and the public alike amid the revelations. The WSJ report detailing the Energy Department’s position follows a Senate minority report from October of last year that detailed “substantial evidence” in support of the theory.
The WIV was known to have been researching coronaviruses and its location at the pandemic’s ground zero has long attracted suspicion. Upon taking the majority in the lower chamber, House Republicans launched an investigation into the Wuhan lab and the origins of the pandemic.
Subsequent reports found that the WIV refused to provide documentation of its activities to EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit group that channeled federal funds to the institution. Republicans in both chambers have since introduced legislation to outright defund the WIV in the wake of that revelation.