House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. Win McNamee/Getty Images
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy asked why Democrats aren’t investigating pandemic deaths.
He asked why there are no hearings on “the 600,000 Americans who have been killed from COVID.”
McCarthy frequently defended former President Donald Trump’s pandemic response.
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Before he denied threatening any of his members over joining the Democrats’ January 6 investigation, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wondered aloud why the opposition party is not investigating the COVID-19 pandemic death toll.
“Did we have any hearings this week in regards to the 600,000 Americans who have been killed from COVID and where it came from?” the California Republican said at his weekly press conference.
McCarthy was referring to China and the Wuhan lab leak theory, which some Republicans have claimed amounts to a bioweapon attack despite evidence only supporting a possible origin from gain of function research.
President Joe Biden has also asked the US intelligence community to look into the origins of the virus after China resisted international calls for transparency through most of 2020.
There have been several hearings in Congress on the US pandemic response, including one in the Senate from the nation’s top public health experts back in March.
McCarthy has been a staunch defender of former President Donald Trump and his pandemic response. He has also denied that Trump incited the insurrection despite a reportedly heated phone call between the two as the Capitol was being breached.
An independent analysis found that Trump’s pandemic response resulted in 40% of deaths that could have been avoided.
The House GOP leader listed a series of other issues he said Democrats should be investigating instead of “turning their backs on America” and investigating the Capitol siege, including border security and drug trafficking.
McCarthy’s reticence to embrace a bipartisan Congressional inquiry into the insurrection was criticized by fellow Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Thursday.
Kinzinger seemed to confirm reports that McCarthy threatened to remove any of his members from their committee assignments if they joined the Democrats’ select committee on January 6.
“Who gives a s—?” Kinzinger said of McCarthy’s reported threats, which the minority leader denied.
“When you’ve got people who say crazy stuff and you’re not gonna make that threat, but you make that threat to truth-tellers, you’ve lost any credibility,” Kinzinger went on to say, according to Forbes.
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