House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., had some fiery words for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, accusing her of thwarting efforts to investigate the true origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Pelosi won’t do it," Scalise told the crowd on the second day of the three-day conference in Kissimmee, Fla. He promised that when Republicans retake the House in the 2022 midterms, they will "hold China accountable."
"They are covering for China right now," Scalise said of his Democratic colleagues. "It’s a Soviet-style cover-up. We’re going to keep calling them out on it."
Scalise’s comments were first reported by JustTheNews.com.
Fox News has reached out to Pelosi’s press office for comment on the matter. A spokesperson referred to the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
"They've announced weeks ago they are looking at this," he said.
The U.S. intelligence community said in May it is examining "all available evidence" on the origin of COVID-19 and "aggressively" working to collect and analyze new information on the issue.
"The U.S. Intelligence Community does not know exactly where, when, or how the COVID-19 virus was transmitted initially but has coalesced around two likely scenarios: either it emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals or it was a laboratory accident," Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Strategic Communications Amanda Schoch said in a statement.
Meanwhile, a push is underway on Capitol Hill and beyond for a full-scale investigation into the origins of the pandemic that has left more than 600,000 Americans dead.
It is unclear whether such a probe will ever happen, though a privately sponsored team of public health experts is already laying the groundwork for one.
A bill introduced by Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, would establish such a commission. Its inquiry could include a look at the origins of the virus; early warnings and other communication with foreign governments; coordination among federal, state and local agencies; the availability of medical supplies; testing and public health surveillance; vaccination development and distribution; the uneven effect on minorities; and government relief policies.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.