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E&C Republican Leaders Request Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Provide Classified Briefing on COVID-19 Origins Report


05.11.21

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA), sent a letter today to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Director Kimberly S. Budil requesting a classified briefing on a May 27, 2020 report on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This request is part of the E&C Leader’s push for a complete, scientific investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have also sent letters to the Director of the National Institutes of Health, EcoHealth Alliance, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

It was reported this month that the laboratory’s intelligence unit, “Z Division,” issued a classified report assessing the theory that the COVID-19 virus began in a laboratory was plausible and was worthy of further investigation. Rodgers, Guthrie, and Griffith are requesting more information from the LLNL on this report.

“The Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG) recently reported that a classified study of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 conducted a year ago by scientists at the Z Division had concluded that the novel coronavirus at the heart of the current pandemic may have originated in a laboratory in China,” the Leaders write. “According to SBG, the Z Division report assessed that both the lab-origin theory and the zoonotic theory were plausible and warranted further investigation. A LLNL spokesperson confirmed the existence of the report to SBG.”

The letter also includes a request to have Dr. David J. Rakestraw, a senior science adviser who formerly directed LLNL’s biodefense programs and has been coordinating the lab’s technical response to COVID-19, brief the leaders.

The Republican leaders ask that Director Budil respond to their request by May 25, 2021.

CLICK HERE to read the letter to the Director Budil.

Press Release