Expert Witness Schools GOP Chairman For Flubbing Basic Scientific Facts

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During a hearing this Tuesday in Congress, multiple experts with extensive experience in virus-involved science faced questioning from members of a subcommittee on the House Oversight panel that deals specifically with questions related to COVID-19. These witnesses, including Dr. Kristian Andersen, refuted in research and before the committee the notion that COVID-19 originated from either an intentional or accidental laboratory act.

For some reason, Republicans have taken up the cause of promoting the possibility of COVID-19 originating in a laboratory in China, though the research on this front is seemingly just inconclusive, especially in terms of what would be needed to actually meaningfully support the kind of leaps Republicans are making. During the Tuesday proceedings, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), who leads the Oversight panel in this Congress, questioned the witnesses with an aim towards undercutting their credibility, eventually asking whether they still stood by past statements they’d made outlining their conclusions.

“I do, and I think it’s important to understand that when we are talking about a purposefully manipulated virus, specifically what we are referring to in the paper here — and as you will see from the record we have handed to the committee, is that we are talking about the idea of building this virus with the intent of creating this virus,” Andersen told Comer on Tuesday. “For example, a bioweapon would be an example of this. The normal engineering of a virus, while I certainly believe that that is fully inconsistent with the evidence we have available to us, is not specifically what we are talking about here.”

In other words, it’s important for Republicans to not misrepresent the conclusions those scientists sticking up for the truth have actually made. The other witness, Dr. Robert Garry, spoke subsequently about how a level of skepticism towards his own past work that he expressed in the context of an extensive interview was just a routine part of scientific endeavor and not indicative of what Republicans would characterize as plot holes.

Check out the hearing below: