(USA Features) Sen. Lindsey Graham is questioning whether the scientific community had become overtly politicized to hide the potential origins of the COVID-19 virus as an early theory that it escaped from a research lab in Wuhan, China, gains new traction.
“We know that COVID-19 is deadly, but after more than 15 months in which COVID-19 has changed every aspect of our life, there remain many things about COVID-19 that we don’t know,” Graham, a South Carolina Republican, wrote in an op-ed for Fox News that was published Thursday.
“Did it come directly from nature, a lab leak in Wuhan, or some mixture of the two? Did science become politicized? Why didn’t American scientists, many of whom immediately raised the concerns about a Wuhan lab leak when COVID-19 entered our world, actively pursue further investigation of their concerns?” he continued.
“The more we learn the more troubling these questions become.”
Graham went on to say that explanations surrounding COVID-19 and the overall situation with the handling of the virus reminds him a lot of the discredited Steele dossier, an opposition research document produced during the 2016 presidential campaign that made wild, unsubstantiated claims about then-GOP nominee Donald Trump and Russia.
“In the Steele dossier, former FBI agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok intentionally choose to pursue an outcome, not follow the facts,” he wrote. “Did American scientists follow the Page and Strzok model of pursuing an outcome – there was no Chinese lab leak — when it came to the origins of COVID-19?”
He went on to mention a letter more than two dozen scientists wrote and published in the respected medical journal The Lancet last year that discounted the lab-leak theory in favor of claiming the virus jumped from animals to humans.
“We now know that one of the leaders in coordinating The Lancet letter was Dr. Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance. Daszak is a close collaborator with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and their lead investigator on bat viruses, Shi Zhengli, also known as ‘Bat Woman,'” wrote Graham.
“Daszak has received National Institute of Health (NIH) grants to conduct coronavirus research in the Wuhan lab as well as funded gain of research studies manipulating bat genome sequences,” he added. “Daszak was the lone solitary representative from the United States that China allowed to participate in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) extremely limited investigation into the origins of COVID-19.”
The South Carolina Republican went on to speculate that prominent scientists moving away from the lab-leak theory early on coupled with the “State Department shutting down additional inquiries” resulted in “two of the most consequential events in the 2020 election cycle.”
“Their early and near-total dismissal of the lab leak theory played a prominent role in the defeat of President Trump in the 2020 presidential race,” Graham added, going on to suggest that more voters would have chosen Trump to stand up to China over the leak than his then-Democratic presidential opponent, Joe Biden.
“However, instead of validating President Trump’s concerns, the scientists’ early dismissal created a narrative that President Trump was out of touch and spreading right-wing conspiracy theories. It was narrative that the elite media, who hated President Trump with a burning passion, was only too happy to help spread,” Graham offered.
“As more facts come to light, we are now learning it does appear the science was compromised, and there may have been a ‘Deep State’ science department which put an outcome – dismissal of the lab leak theory – over science,” he added.