The Chinese government released a statement Tuesday slamming comments by U.S. congressmen that there is a preponderance of evidence showing the coronavirus originated in Wuhan lab.
“The relevant report, totally based on the concocted lies and distorted facts without providing any evidence, is not credible or scientific,” a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry department said in a statement responding to a House GOP report concluding the virus likely came from a Chinese lab.
“What the relevant US congressmen have done smears and slanders China in pursuit of political gains,” the statement continued. “We express categorical opposition to and strong condemnation of such despicable acts that have no moral bottom line.”
One of the congressmen the Chinese government was referring to, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, accused China of engaging in the “greatest coverup in human history.”
“They were playing with fire,” McCaul said of the testing taking place in the Wuhan lab. “They were genetically manipulating at the lab this gain-of-function that was taking place.”
The Chinese statement attempted to diminish the United States’s intelligence apparatus, pointing to the events leading up to the Iraq War in 2003.
“In 2003, the U.S. side used a test tube of laundry powder as evidence for Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction,” the statement said. “One needs not look far for a lesson, and the international community should not let such a thing happen again.
“In a word, we urge the US to respect facts and science and focus on fighting COVID-19 and saving lives, instead of engaging in political manipulation under the pretext of the epidemic and shifting the blame to others,” the Chinese foreign ministry said.
McCaul also called for top researchers involved with the Wuhan lab to be sanctioned and singled out Peter Daszak, whose New York-based organization EcoHealth Alliance sent $3.4 million in National Institutes of Health grants to the Wuhan lab between 2014 and 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“I believe that Peter Daszak needs to testify before Congress about what was going on,” McCaul said.
All of this comes only weeks ahead of President Biden’s deadline for the intelligence community’s review into the origins of the pandemic. Prior to this, Republicans will release their most detailed case yet arguing that researchers in Wuhan could have genetically manipulated the virus and that “the preponderance of evidence suggests SARS-CoV-2 was accidentally released from a Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory.”
Fox News’ Rich Edson and Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.