Rep. Brad Wenstrup on “Face the Nation,” March 5, 2023

Rep. Brad Wenstrup on “Face the Nation,” March 5, 2023
Rep. Brad Wenstrup on “Face the Nation,” March 5, 2023

The next is a transcript of an interview with Rep. Brad Wenstrup, Republican of Ohio, that aired on “Face the Nation” on Sunday, March 5, 2023.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We flip now to Ohio Congressman Brad Wenstrup, who chairs the Choose Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Physician, welcome to the program.


MARGARET BRENNAN: There are 18 completely different intelligence businesses on this nation, no consensus on COVID’s origins. Two intel businesses undecided, 4 say it was pure transmission. After which final week, we discovered that the Vitality Division has joined the FBI in saying the virus doubtless unfold by a mishap at a Chinese language lab. Is all of the proof circumstantial? Have you ever seen the intelligence?

REP. WENSTRUP: I’ve seen fairly a little bit of intelligence, as you may think, sitting on the Intelligence Committee. We have not seen all that we need to see essentially. And a few of it is vitally labeled that I’ve seen. And so we now have to proceed driving ahead and getting questions answered as a result of the extra we discover, the extra questions that we could have. So that you do have a wide range of opinions. And actually, what we try to do is to comply with the breadcrumbs, if you’ll. Take a look at the forensics of what happened. Clearly, that is one in every of the extra critical issues that ever- has ever occurred to mankind. And so you will need to discover the origins of COVID. And so we’ll proceed to research. And I encourage the businesses to proceed to trying into this as apparently they’ve been doing.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you anticipate the FBI and the Vitality Division to testify to your committee?

REP. WENSTRUP: That- there could come a time for that. I’d hope that they do it willingly and relies upon on which committee you are speaking about, as a result of a few of the testimony doubtless at this level can be labeled. And we might have that in the Intelligence Committee. After which others could also be on the subcommittee–


REP. WENSTRUP: the place it is extra open supply or non-classified materials. So it could be a mix of each.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So if this was certainly the results of a lab leak, what’s Congress doing to forestall this from ever taking place once more?

REP. WENSTRUP: Properly, it is attention-grabbing, that is sort of the position of the subcommittee, if you’ll, that is an after-action overview in my thoughts, and we need to discover classes discovered alongside the manner. And we need to have a finest path ahead. And I am hoping at the finish of the day with the subcommittee, that we now have a bipartisan product that may actually assist us with our readiness going into the future. I hold utilizing a wide range of phrases that we wish to have the ability to predict a pandemic, we need to put together for a pandemic, we need to shield ourselves from a pandemic and hopefully stop a pandemic. And that needs to be our purpose. And we’ll must work with plenty of scientists and specialists to have the ability to do this. However we now have to get to the fact of what truly occurred on this pandemic. And what- how we responded, the subcommittee’s every thing: the results on schooling, the results on individuals’s well being, the results of the applications that we as Congress put in place, and a few of the fraud or abuse that will have taken place, but in addition origins of COVID. So–


REP. WENSTRUP: we’re all this stuff throughout the board, what we did proper and what we did fallacious and the way we will do higher in the future.

MARGARET BRENNAN:  Properly, by way of the specifics, I do know the White Home is alleged to be contemplating suggestions from the Nationwide Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity to place oversight on acquire of operate experiments, these are the issues that I suppose genetically alter a virus to boost its capabilities and perhaps make it extra lethal. This was allegedly what was taking place at this lab in Wuhan. Would you need this sort of regulation? And does that come from the White Home? Does that come from Congress?

REP. WENSTRUP: Properly, it could be a mix of each at the finish of the day. And I feel it is vital that we do this. Look, if we have been taking- taking taxpayer {dollars} to fund analysis, not solely in the United States however in China, regarding this kind of methodology, the creation of a chimera, or it is known as acquire of operate analysis, the place you may take two viruses and put them into one. I do not see a complete lot of economic use for that essentially. So it is one thing that if it may happen, it actually ought to have oversight or ought to have had oversight. In 2015, Ralph Baric in North Carolina, together with Dr. Zhengli Shi in China, printed their article about the skill to create these chimeras, they usually did that, so we all know that this know-how exists. My actual query is why are we doing this with an adversary like China? And we now have to look into what the reasoning was for that, and what truly happened, the place the cash went, and why did it go there?

MARGARET BRENNAN: Properly, I do know that there was plenty of focus on Dr. Fauci who has since retired from NIH. And I ponder if you happen to suppose that’s misplaced to personalize the scrutiny a lot when the intelligence businesses are all so divided? I imply, are you able to moderately probe this query in a bipartisan manner with out villainizing individuals?

REP. WENSTRUP: Properly, I feel that is the purpose. I imply, I simply need to get to information. And once I was requested to chair this choose subcommittee, one in every of the first issues I did was name Dr. Raul Ruiz, Democrat from California, Emergency Doctor. As physicians, we now have labored on many payments collectively. And we get alongside very effectively. We could disagree on plenty of different insurance policies. However we work very effectively collectively, particularly on the subject of well being. And this- actually this can be a well being situation. I requested him to try to get on the subcommittee and presumably be rating member. And he did get that place. And I feel we’re on the similar web page of what we need to do to conduct this professionally. There’s going to be some moments I am positive of some feelings flaring. The final three years have been powerful on everyone.


REP. WENSTRUP: However at the similar time, let’s simply stick with the information and- and collect what we all know from what we all know, and- and who has that data.

MARGARET BRENNAN:   I feel lots of people would welcome simply sticking to the information, which is why I need to ask you about the membership on your committee as a result of you’ve got Marjorie Taylor Greene on it. She shared deceptive details about deaths and COVID vaccines. She in contrast vaccines to Nazis, forcing Jews to put on gold stars. Dr. Ronny Jackson, who mentioned masks by no means labored. He known as the Omicron variant, the midterm election variant. How do individuals take your committee work significantly with members like this on it?

REP. WENSTRUP: Properly, I feel we now have plenty of critical members that, on either side of the aisle, that are- are simply after the fact. I feel that they arrive from a wide range of backgrounds. Look, there have been issues that have been mentioned, Hey, this can be a conspiracy principle, cease this conspiracy principle that it could have come from the lab. Properly, now you’ve got businesses which are coming ahead and saying that we do suppose it got here from the lab. Look, we now have to conduct ourselves in a manner that’s skilled, and I hope that we are going to. I can not management everyone. And–


REP. WENSTRUP: that goes on either side of the aisle. Dr. Ruiz can’t- cannot both. However at the similar time, what I am seeing from- from all the members is that they’ve backgrounds of extreme curiosity, vital curiosity, they both owned a enterprise, they’re well being care suppliers, they’re involved about the adversarial occasions that will come from the vaccine. These are authentic issues for People to be involved about–


REP. WENSTRUP: And thru this course of, I feel we took medical doctors out of the equation all too usually, and left it as much as non-physicians to inform America methods to deal with themselves.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You are from Ohio, so I need to make sure that I ask you about what was a second prepare derailment from Norfolk Southern in your state yesterday, on prime of this poisonous one. President Biden has praised a few of the bipartisan laws in the Senate that might up railway security. Do you see a necessity for this sort of laws proper now?

REP. WENSTRUP: Properly, actually in any after-action overview or overview of one thing that occurred, if we see that there is some gaps in our security, then we should always check out that. Let’s not put issues on the market that are not essentially information and say that there was a security situation if it wasn’t. However at the similar time, you do need to tackle these points. Look, we’re all the time making an attempt to do higher, I hope that we will. And the different factor that I wish to see come out of all this, particularly with the one the place there was such a chemical poisonous response, and with the fires that have been began from the derailment, is do we now have a regular working process of how we handle a group? What our response is from the authorities? What are we searching for? How will we shield our individuals? Let’s ensure that we now have a great normal working process, so though these cases are uncommon, in accordance with the numbers, we now have to be ready for that 0.1% or no matter the case could also be.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All proper. Dr. Wenstrup. We’ll be watching the listening to this week. Thanks on your time. We’ll be proper again.

Extend Interview: Rep. Brad Wenstrup says House COVID subcommittee hasn’t “seen all that we want to see” about intelligence on virus origins

Flashback: Bob Schieffer visits Selma with John Lewis

Dr. Scott Gottlieb says COVID origins may never be known “with certainty,” but focus should be on “taking the steps” to ensure a lab leak never happens

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