A top political aide to former President Donald Trump is calling for a commission to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of nearly 600,000 Americans.
“Why don’t we have a commission,” Corey Lewandowski told Fox News’ Chris Wallace in an interview Sunday on “Fox News Sunday.”
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“Let’s appoint Secretary Mike Pompeo and maybe Secretary Clinton, to look into why 600,000 Americans have died because of this,” Lewandowski urged. “Let’s hold China accountable. Let’s ask for the reparations which they own not only us but probably the world. And I think that $10 trillion sounds about the right amount to me.”
The pandemic, the deadliest in a century, is widely believed to have originated in Wuhan, China in late 2019 before sweeping across the globe early last year. The two leading theories are that the virus emerged in a wet market in the city, or that it escaped from a Chinese lab.
U.S. intelligence agencies continue to investigate whether the virus was sparked by human contact with infected animals, or if it was the result of a lab accident. President Biden late last month directed the intelligence agencies to report back on their findings in 90 days.
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Early last year, as the first cases of the virus were being reported in the U.S. and then-President Trump was downplaying concerns about the health threat, he also praised Beijing’s efforts to contain the pandemic, saying in early February that “I think they’re doing a very good job.”
A month and a half later, as the pandemic had swept the nation, Trump tweeted that “Just finished a very good conversation with President Xi of China. Discussed in great detail the CoronaVirus that is ravaging large parts of our Planet. China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect.”
But around the same time, Trump started to emphasize what was then considered a fringe theory that the virus had escaped from a Wuhan lab. Trump’s repeated attacks on Beijing sparked angry reaction from China and was also downplayed by some experts and media outlets.
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“When President Trump said we believe that this originated in a lab in Wuhan, the media by and large dismissed that,” Lewandowski charged.
The lab theory has gained traction again in recent weeks, particularly after China has stonewalled a World Health Organization investigation into the origins of the virus, and reports that multiple lab workers were hospitalized in November with COVID-like symptoms
Pompeo, who is now a Fox News contributor, argued last weekend that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was engaged in military activity alongside its civilian research.
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“What I can say for sure is this: we know that they were engaged in efforts connected to the People’s Liberation Army inside of that laboratory, so military activity being performed alongside what they claimed was just good old civilian research,” Pompeo said on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”
Fox News Adam Shaw contributed to this report