August 25, 2021

Risch: Investigation into COVID Origins Must Continue

BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on the reportedly inconclusive intelligence assessment on the origins of COVID-19 briefed to the president earlier this week:

“China’s unwillingness to share data and information relevant to identifying the origins of COVID-19 is truly shameful. Yet, the work to identify how this virus started and spread must continue.

“As I wrote to the president last month, if the 90-day intelligence community effort does not yield definitive conclusions, the intelligence community and others in the U.S. government must continue to prioritize this inquiry. I expect the administration to provide a briefing to senators on the 90-day inquiry when we return next month so we can decide what needs to happen next.”

“Our experience with COVID-19 also requires a thorough re-examination of research collaboration with China on gain-of-function, synthetic biology, and other areas that pose dual use concerns. That is something I will continue to push alongside my Senate colleagues to ensure the United States is not funding or supporting technological and military advancements that benefit our adversaries.”

A copy of Senator Risch’s letter to President Biden last month can be found here.