At 12 p.m. ET today, House Republicans will hold a forum investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following statement was released by Claudia Rosett, foreign policy fellow at Independent Women’s Forum:

“Uncovering the origins of COVID-19 is urgent not solely for science, but for national security. The challenge is not only how to equip scientists with the knowledge to help thwart the next pandemic. It is also how to deter China’s duplicitous and ruthless Communist Party from deploying biological weapons in its plans for world dominance.

“Circumstantial evidence overwhelmingly supports the theory that Chinese scientists engineered the virus in a Wuhan laboratory, producing a pathogen efficiently adapted to spread among humans. Whether China’s communist authorities unleashed this virus on the world by accident or design, it is clear that they initially lied, covered up, and misled the world about the dangers, thus ensuring it would spread beyond China to become the global pandemic that has by now killed millions, inflicted untold trillions worth of damage, and sparked political upheaval in many countries, including the United States.

“It is also clear that, during the ruinous pandemic that emerged from Wuhan, China has harvested vast amounts of information globally about how we respond to such pathogens, the vectors along which they spread, and their potential uses—not least in isolating and destabilizing democracies—for a communist party that prizes expanding power, above all, over the value of human lives and souls.

“China has blocked or subverted all inquiries into the origins, presiding over Potemkin inquiries by the World Health Organization and issuing vast clouds of propaganda to befog the issue. In the U.S., until quite recently, Big Tech was censoring theories that COVID-19 came from a Chinese lab. Scientists with close ties to China (including Dr. Anthony Fauci) were ridiculing questions about a lab origin.

“And for well over a year, the House Democratic majority has refused to pursue a serious investigation. That’s why it’s extremely important that House Republicans are going ahead with their own inquiries, and why it’s well worth tuning in.”

Tune in to watch the forum live at 12 p.m. ET HERE.