McCarthy Names Conspiracist Greene To Covid-19 Investigative Panel
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday named Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to a committee created by House Republicans to probe the origins of the COVID-19 virus. Greene has repeatedly rejected universally accepted scientific theories and spread lies about the pandemic.
Greene is one of nine Republicans on the panel, a number of whom have spread a conspiracy theory that the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan, China. A preponderance of scientific research suggests the virus was spread from wildlife to people in a seafood market, not created in a lab.
"The Members selected to serve on these subcommittees will work to … finally get answers to the Covid origins and the federal government's gain of function research that contributed to the pandemic," McCarthy said in a statement announcing the committee membership.
Republicans allege that the United States and the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, funded what is called "gain-of-function" research, virological research that helps scientists understand "the biology, ecology, and pathogenesis of viruses," according to Dr. Kanta Subbarao of the Laboratory of Infectious Disease at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at an institute in Wuhan, and that the virus had escaped the lab, resulting in the pandemic.
McCarthy named Greene to the newly formed select subcommittee, which ostensibly would review scientific research, even though she has called the theory of evolution — which is near universally accepted by the scientific community — "so-called science."
"I don't believe in evolution," Greene said in June during an appearance on right-wing former Trump administration official Steve Bannon's podcast. "I don't believe in that type of so-called science. I don't believe in evolution, I believe in God."
Greene is part of the chorus of right-wing voices spreading lies about the COVID-19 vaccine. Her personal Twitter account was permanently suspended in June 2022 after she tweeted a lie that the COVID-19 vaccine led to an "extremely high amount" of deaths. Her account was reinstated in November after Elon Musk purchased the company.
After her suspension, Greene continued to lie about the vaccine. On Sunday, she falsely tweeted, "We have no idea what is in Covid vaccines." The vaccine ingredients are publicly available.
Greene has also compared vaccine and mask-wearing requirements implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to Nazis forcing Jews to wear yellow Stars of David to identify themselves during the Holocaust.
According to CNN, Greene told an interviewer on the Christian Broadcasting Network in 2021, "You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second class citizens so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany," Greene said of House rules that required members to be masked if they were unvaccinated against COVID-19. Greene added, "This is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about."
Greene, who has a penchant for spreading debunked conspiracy theories, has also repeated the theory that the virus originated in a lab.
"I'm honored to serve on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic," Greene tweeted Tuesday night. "It's time to reveal the truth on the origins of COVID, the authoritarian Democrat response, vaccines, and Fauci's NIAID involvement in gain-of-function research."
Other members of the select subcommittee are Reps. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) and Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), who have railed against COVID-19 prevention methods such as vaccine requirements and mask-wearing, even though research has shown those tools to be the best ways to prevent serious illness or death from the virus.
"I'm PROUD to announce that I've been chosen for the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus pandemic," Jackson tweeted. "Every LIE told to us by Fauci will be revealed. Every LIE about the vaccine will be revealed. Every LIE that was used to LOCK YOU DOWN will be unearthed. We will reveal the TRUTH!"
Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia expressed dismay with McCarthy's appointments to the committee, tweeting on Jan. 24: "McCarthy put the QAnon enthusiast who spread pandemic misinformation on the Covid subcommittee and the guy who dodged a congressional subpoena and discussed pardons with Donald Trump in charge of their 'deep state' panel. Whole subcommittees devoted to conspiracy theories. Ugh."
Reprinted with permission from American Independent.