The Chinese government must be held to account for the Wuhan lab leak, the coverup, hoarding vital medical supplies, damage to the global economy, and most importantly, the deaths of more than 6.3 million people worldwide. Pictured: Virologist Shi Zhengli (left) in a laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, on February 23, 2017. (Photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)
"My sources," read the incoming email on January 24, 2020, "received reliable information according to which the situation related to corona virus infection is very serious and it's hundreds the people who drop in the streets like flies both in Wuhan and in other 12 provinces." The message continued:
"The information given by Chinese government don't represent the huge risk linked to new corona virus.
"My sources confirm the new corona virus escaped from National Bio-safety Laboratory, in Wuhan, which is BSL-4 lab, through a laboratory technician who went in touch with this new corona virus.
"My sources say Chinese Authorities are covering this 'incident' happened inside the laboratory. So, it's extremely urgent to understand and to face the situation like a lethal threat for US National Security and the rest of the world."
The message came from a reliable European intelligence source with whom I had worked after leaving Congress and who had shared information on multiple issues. Like all intelligence sources, his material always needed to be vetted and confirmed, and, as happens in the intelligence world, results sometimes vary.
Over the next two years, he sent hundreds of additional emails about the COVID pandemic. Some of the information was clearly out of the mainstream. The World Health Organization (WHO) and mainstream medical professionals made it very clear that the only accepted explanation for the source of the pandemic was via natural transmission from some wet market or lost bat.
There was little-to-no consideration given -- in fact there was only outright dismissal and derision given -- to the possibility that the virus might have been scientifically manipulated and released -- or had escaped from -- a laboratory.
That all officially changed in a stunning set of events within the last few days. First it was reported that WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus believes COVID most likely leaked from the Wuhan laboratory. The WHO revised its earlier position, that a natural explanation was the most likely, to now saying that all options for the origins of COVID should be on the table.
In addition, Jeffrey Sachs, the lead of the Lancet COVID 19 Commission, has stated that he now is convinced that the pandemic started in the lab. These are startling reversals by both organizations: The WHO and the Lancet Commission. They have consistently ridiculed and downplayed the possibility that the virus originated and escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. Now, nearly three years after COVID began devastating the world as we knew it, there is just this collective "Oops!"?
These two organizations had from the start been at the forefront of promoting -- insisting on -- the natural origin of the virus. As my source indicated in his correspondence, there were those who suspected in late 2019 and early 2020 that the virus had escaped from the Wuhan laboratory, that it was far more dangerous than the Chinese were telling the rest of the world, and that the Chinese were firmly trying to cover it up.
The key points made by my source on January 24, 2020, have proven to be totally accurate. With the recent admissions by Tedros and Sachs and the organizations they represent, the prevailing origin theory now rests on the Wuhan laboratory. The virus has proven to be more deadly than the Chinese have ever let on, and to this day, the Chinese Communist Party government has not cooperated with international organizations to contain the virus or determine its exact origins.
China has instead done the exact opposite. In the initial stages, it cleansed the Wuhan wet market, refused to allow outside investigators in, refused to share information with the international community, and as the virus developed, allowed people to flee Wuhan on flights to the outside world as the city itself was being locked down.
For two years the WHO, the Lancet and others have been stooges for the Chinese Communists. It is time to identify them all and hold them accountable for their grave errors. Their actions probably cost the lives of millions and have so far allowed China to escape accountability.
One would think that the WHO and the Lancet would be reserved in making any more statements and observations about COVID, but that is not what is happening. Sachs, his credibility now in tatters, has been making a new pronouncement: that the COVID virus was created with the aid of U.S. biotechnology.
It seems that while covering for the Chinese Communists since the beginning of the pandemic, Sachs also decided to absolve them of accountability, and instead point the finger of responsibility at the U.S.
Sachs may have a point, but he is not in any position to deliver more messages. The U.S. Congress must thoroughly investigate the U.S. government's role and cooperation with China in biotechnology research, including the coordination between U.S. labs and labs around the world engaged in further, reportedly even more dangerous types of research.
If, as seems possible, U.S. research dollars and information might have found its way into places it never should have been, it is time for the American people to demand action. More than one million Americans have died, yet Congress has done somewhere between little and nothing to determine the origins of or accountability for the virus.
While Congress needs to examine what role, if any, the U.S. government had in the research leading to the deadly virus, America's role is surely minor when compared to that of the government of the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese government must be held to account for the Wuhan lab leak, the coverup, hoarding vital medical supplies, damage to the global economy, and most importantly, the deaths of more than 6.3 million people worldwide.
Peter Hoekstra was US Ambassador to the Netherlands during the Trump administration. He served 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the second district of Michigan and served as Chairman and Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. He is currently Chairman of the Center for Security Policy Board of Advisor and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.