John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence under former President Donald Trump, has called for China to be stripped of the 2022 Winter Olympics, citing its crimes against humanity against Uyghur Muslims and its stonewalling of an investigation into COVID-19's origins.
Ratcliffe, who oversaw America's 18 spy agencies, called out China for its coronavirus cover-up as House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans released their report on COVID-19's origins, pointing to evidence of a lab leak and genetic modification, making the case the virus accidentally emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in late August or early September 2019.
“This is a good time to remember that in a matter of just six months, another Olympic Games is scheduled to take place in Beijing, where the Chinese Communist Party leadership coordinated — and continues to perpetrate — a massive cover up of the virus’s origins and the circumstances surrounding its initial outbreak,” Ratcliffe wrote in a Fox News op-ed over the weekend. “The 2022 Winter Games should go on. We should not punish hard-working athletes who have dedicated their lives to preparing for this moment. But the world — and the International Olympic Committee — should not allow Beijing to enjoy the benefits of hosting a massive global event while rejecting transparency and refusing to allow inquiries into, much less answering for, the deaths of millions of people around the world.”
Ratcliffe told Axios on Tuesday that the Olympics needed to be moved out of China because of the CCP’s “mass cover-up of COVID's origins and its initial outbreak, in addition to its crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.”
Ratcliffe wrote in his Fox News op-ed that the WHO had initially helped China cover up its malfeasance, but “now the facts are too hard for even the WHO, and hopefully the IOC, to ignore.” The spy chief argued that COVID-19 almost certainly began in a Wuhan lab.
“I had access to all of the U.S. government’s most sensitive intelligence related to the pandemic. My informed opinion is that the lab leak theory isn’t just a ‘possibility,’ at the very least it is more like a probability, if not very close to a certainty. More than 18 months after the virus first leaked into the world, I still have not seen a single shred of scientific evidence or intelligence that the virus outbreak was a naturally occurring ‘spillover’ that jumped from an animal to a human.”
Ratcliffe added: “Every piece of evidence I have seen points to the pandemic’s origin being a leak out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Quite simply, the lab leak theory is the only one supported by science, intelligence and common sense. … The CCP has not provided any exculpatory evidence in a crime that had devastating impacts on nearly every person on earth because, in short, they can’t.”
China has repeatedly tried to shift blame for COVID-19 to the U.S. military, which the United States has condemned as baseless.
A declassified State Department fact sheet was released in January in the final days of the Trump administration, contending that Wuhan lab researchers “conducted experiments” with COVID-19's closest known genetic relative and that the lab “has a published record of conducting ‘gain-of-function’ research to engineer chimeric viruses.” The fact sheet asserted the lab “engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military” and that lab workers became sick with coronavirus-like symptoms in autumn 2019.
“By releasing the State Department fact sheet, we hoped to jumpstart international momentum toward holding China accountable. But in light of their continued rejection of transparency and accountability, the Biden administration must now go further and declassify and publicly release additional intelligence because it is vital to the national and global interest,” Ratcliffe wrote, adding that the U.S. government needed to share what it knows about COVID-19’s origins.
Ratcliffe concluded that China’s “entire system is designed to only inspire fealty to their oppressive regime, which rejects equality — and even basic dignity — to minorities living under its rule” and so “Beijing should not be allowed to host the 2022 Olympic Games.”
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