U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), along with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), is leading bipartisan legislation to create a 9/11-style Congressional commission to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak and identify lessons learned regarding U.S. preparedness, response and recovery to improve our ability to respond to future outbreaks.
“The COVID-19 outbreak that emerged in Wuhan, China nearly two years ago put the world into an unprecedented global lockdown, and to this day, the origins of the pandemic remain a mystery as China refuses to fully cooperate with international fact-finding efforts,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “The American people and the world deserve answers, which is why I’m proud to join my colleagues across the aisle to create a bipartisan commission to get to the bottom of the pandemic once and for all—and ensure it never happens again.”
The bipartisan legislation, which is endorsed by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, would establish the National Commission on the COVID–19 Pandemic. The commission would conduct an investigation on the COVID-19 outbreak and identify lessons learned regarding preparedness, response and recovery. The structure and authorities of the Commission are modeled on the 9/11 Commission.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Ernst has been pushing hard for answers about its origins and transparency around the dangerous experiments conducted at China’s state-run Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) that were funded with U.S. taxpayer money. In June, Ernst put forward legislation to cut off funding to EcoHealth Alliance, a taxpayer-supported nonprofit that’s conducted coronavirus experiments in China but has refused to provide information to the public, in violation of federal law. In May, Ernst successfully banned any additional future U.S. funding from going to China’s WIV.
After revelations surfaced about U.S. tax dollars supporting dangerous scientific experiments in China under Dr. Anthony Fauci—in contradiction to his previous statements under oath to Congress denying it—Ernst introduced the FAUCI Act, which calls for a full accounting of how and where U.S. tax dollars are being spent, a complete ban on funding of “gain-of-function” research in Communist China, and restrictions on government officials who intentionally mislead Congress.