|WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Republican Whip and Ranking Member of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) opening statement at today’s Select Subcommittee’s hearing calls out Democrats for refusing to investigate the Biden Administration’s horrific track record during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whip Scalise criticizes Democrats on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis for failing to hold a hearing with President Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci in over a year. Additionally, Whip Scalise urges Select Subcommittee Democrats to hold a hearing about the origins of the coronavirus and investigate claims that the Centers and Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) allowed teacher union bosses to re-write critical portions of the Biden Administration’s school reopening guidance, which effectively kept thousands of schools closed when they could have reopened.|
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
“I would like to welcome Dr. Birx. Thank you for being here today.
“And thank you for your four decades of service to this country, including 29 years in the U.S. Army.
“Like Groundhog Day, my Democrat colleagues will use today to continue their political vendetta against the former Trump Administration while continuing to cover up the many failures that have occurred with respect to COVID-19 under the Biden Administration.
“It is our job to perform congressional oversight over the administration. That’s why Republicans on this Subcommittee have focused on serious issues like the CDC’s school reopening guidance and the emails that prove the Biden Administration colluded with union bosses to keep millions of American children locked out of their classrooms.
“We now know that the social isolation and closed schools caused by the COVID lockdowns resulted in serious mental health issues and dramatic learning loss for millions of America’s kids. The last time I tried to talk about this incredibly important issue, the Chairman urged us all to not look backward, stating:
“‘I would hope we won’t spend all of our time today talking about yesterday. I’m concerned about tomorrow and the day after.’ (14:53)
“He went on to say, ‘All of us can spend the rest of our lives talking about what happened before COVID-19, or we can spend a little time trying to figure out how best to move forward from whatever mistakes may have been made, whoever may have made them, or we can spend all of our time assigning blame.’ (47:39).
“But here we are today, having yet another hearing with a witness to discuss things that happened more than two years ago while working for the former president.
“No hearing with Biden’s first COVID-19 response coordinator and Dr. Birx’s immediate successor, Jeff Zeints.
“No hearing with Biden’s current coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha.
“And no hearing in more than a year with Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Fauci.
“Of course, I welcome Dr. Birx’s testimony today, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the irony of the Chairman’s past statements against talking about the past. It is noteworthy that this Subcommittee would focus on the events of years ago while denying our ability to address the failures of the Biden Administration that are still occurring to this day.
“More Americans died from COVID during President Biden’s first year than Trump’s, even with multiple vaccines. And we are currently dealing with the serious impact COVID lockdown policies have had on millions of kids. I’m worried the effects will last for years to come, jeopardizing their future ability to achieve their dreams.
“We need a proper investigation into the origins of COVID. I have asked the Chairman for this many times and yet we still have not had a hearing to answer this question that millions of Americans keep asking.
“Again, begs the question of why this Select Subcommittee on Coronavirus refuses to hold a hearing on the origins of COVID-19 when the World Health Organization, and a growing list of leading experts in the scientific community all deem it worthy of investigation.
“Dr. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University who himself thinks this came from a lab said COVID-19 is ‘a blunder of biotech not a natural spillover.’
“And now it is being reported that Dr. Tedros, the head of the WHO, is quietly confiding to officials that he believes this pandemic originated in a lab in China.
“I wonder if Dr. Sachs and Dr. Tedros are—to use the Chairman’s own words—‘us[ing] the issue of the origin of the virus to shift accountability from President Trump to Dr. Anthony Fauci,’ as he accused Republicans of doing.
“More than one million Americans have died from COVID. We should understand how this virus started not only because we owe it to those that have died but also to protect against future pandemics. China was doing risky research in a lab that likely caused this pandemic. Did China lie to the world about the virus and how it spread? These are questions we should absolutely know the answers to.
“To that end, I know Dr. Birx has told us before that the origins of the virus are detectable if China would be willing to share the earliest sequences of the virus. And Dr. Birx has previously said that early statements from scientists, scientific publications, and the media downplaying the lab leak were premature and not based on data.
“I’m glad we’ll get the opportunity to hear what she has to say about China’s involvement and how the U.S. and the rest of the world were misled by China and the World Health Organization.
“I also look forward to hearing Dr. Birx’s suggestions for reforming the CDC. Over the course of the pandemic, Americans have lost trust in what was once a premier public health organization. Their failures must be confronted in order for that trust to be restored.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.”