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President Biden recently tasked the U.S. Intelligence Community to “redouble” its efforts to identify the origin of the COVID-19 virus. The community already has been focused on this for eighteen months. Its conclusions so far: It is either manmade and escaped from a lab or it developed naturally and jumped from an animal species to humans. One can only wonder how many hours of research and analysis led to narrowing it down to these two options. Yes, you can sense a bit of sarcasm.

Significant and very legitimate questions have been raised about the Intelligence Community, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes for Health, and the World Health Organization and whether they shaded their research and analysis for political reasons. In 2020, these organizations strongly discounted the theory that this could have been manmade and escaped from a lab. They ridiculed President Trump and Senator Tom Cotton for even raising this possibility. Shame on them as they, and their enablers in the media, now rapidly backtrack as the lab leak theory becomes more likely. The change in assessments is not because of some new information being discovered, it is primarily the reevaluation of information that was already available and dropping of the political pretense.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was thanked by the head of an organization that took U.S. taxpayer money and funded Chinese coronavirus research, is now backing away from his pushback on the lab leak theory. Our “trusted” federal scientific and intelligence organizations that are tasked with keeping us safe and providing professional analysis are also hedging their initial takes, which may have been influenced by politics and anti-Trump bias. The failures here may be on par with those that missed the threat posed by al-Qaeda in the run up to 9/11 and that many of us trusted regarding the “slam dunk” case on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction program.

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Pete Hoekstra

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