Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) peddled outrageous conspiracy theories about the origin of COVID-19 during an appearance on the Fox News program Sunday Morning Futures over the weekend, suggesting that the U.S. government could be financially tied to the origin of the virus that has swept the world.
In short, the idea is that research funding from U.S. federal authorities may have gone to certain non-profits and supported scientific endeavors that led to the creation of the pandemic-driving pathogen — but just recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health repeatedly insisted while under oath at a public Senate hearing that the U.S. “has not ever” funded so-called gain of function research at a Wuhan, China-based scientific institute that has been under scrutiny by Republicans including Nunes. That’s not wordplay — it’s an unequivocal rebuttal of the conspiracy theory that Nunes is recklessly promoting on national television.
It’s worth noting that Nunes has no apparent public health experience on anywhere near the same level as Fauci. Nunes has agriculture-related degrees and has a background in dairy farming, making him yet another Republican who’s presenting themselves as some kind of public health expert but simply doesn’t have the experience to back themselves up, no matter the authority with which they attempt to speak.
During his weekend Fox appearance, Nunes conspiratorially ranted as follows:
‘If you begin to look at the circumstantial evidence, I think it’s pretty clear that there wasn’t some guy in a wet market in China that ate a bat. It likely didn’t come from there. There’s zero evidence of that. But there’s building circumstantial evidence that indeed this did come from a lab and indeed likely there was money that flowed from the U.S. government through non-profits that was actually supporting this type of research that was going on in China… This is about bioweapons. This is about biowarfare. This is very concerning.’
Amazingly, one of the pieces of supposedly compelling circumstantial evidence that Nunes referenced is that roads were closed in Wuhan in late 2019 around the time that COVID-19 was first emerging. Suggesting that road closures are compelling evidence of a potential lab leak of a pandemic-causing virus just seems stunningly incompetent.
Nunes also suggested — without any apparent meaningful proof at all — that the Biden administration is hiding evidence in support of the conspiracies that he’s presenting. As Nunes dubiously put it:
‘Moving forward from here, we have to know the answers to this sooner rather than later, and the Biden administration needs to get to the bottom of it. I think they’re sitting on and suppressing a lot of intelligence that the American people should see in order to know how to move ahead over the coming next few years as China continues to gain control of the life science arena and the life science global economy.’
Watch Nunes’s bizarre rhetoric below: