Rep. McCaul on House GOP's bombshell Wuhan lab report: 'Greatest cover-up in human history'

COVID-19 may have been circulating in Wuhan as early as September, according to report

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, shared new findings from the House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans' probe into the possible origins of COVID-19 on Monday and accused the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of engaging in the "greatest cover-up in human history."

The committee's ranking Republican, during an appearance on "America’s Newsroom," laid out a number of key points from the report and asserted that the CCP is likely "very concerned" by its findings.

"They were playing with fire," said McCaul. "They were genetically manipulating at the lab this gain-of-function that was taking place."

WUHAN LAB REPORT RAISES FURTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT POSSIBLE COVID-19 LAB LEAK

Many of the key points from the report focused on activities in and around Wuhan that appeared to indicate the virus may have been circulating in China as early as September, well before the WHOs Country Office in the People’s Republic of China picked up a press statement on December 31, 2019, by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission from their website on cases of "viral pneumonia" in Wuhan.

In September, the Wuhan lab’s genetic sequencing database was taken offline in the middle of the night, which according to McCaul, shows that they were trying to "hide" or "cover-up" something of significant concern. 

Satellite imagery from around the same time purportedly shows increased activity at the hospitals near the Wuhan lab, says McCaul. 

Months ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Wuhan National Biosafety Lab requested bids for major renovations to air safety and waste treatment systems in research facilities that had been operational for less than two years, according to the report on the pandemic’s origins, obtained by Fox News.

In addition, McCaul referenced the October 2019 World Military Games, where he said 9,000 people entered the country. According to the Foreign Affairs Committee data, some returned to their home countries with flu-like symptoms.

CORONAVIRUS IN THE US: STATE-BY-STATE BREAKDOWN

McCaul also called for top researchers involved with the Wuhan lab to be sanctioned and singled out Peter Daszak, whose New York-based organization EcoHealth Alliance sent $3.4 million in National Institutes of Health grants to the Wuhan lab between 2014 and 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

"I believe that Peter Daszak needs to testify before Congress about what was going on," McCaul said. 

All of this comes only weeks ahead of President Biden’s deadline for the intelligence community’s review into the origins of the pandemic. Prior to this, Republicans will release their most detailed case yet arguing that researchers in Wuhan could have genetically manipulated the virus and that "the preponderance of evidence suggests SARS-CoV-2 was accidentally released from a Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory."

Fox News' Rich Edson contributed to this report.