May 26 2021

Graham: We Need Investigation of Lab Leak as Possible Origin of COVID-19 Virus, Threatens Sanctions

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today discussed the latest news on the push for an independent inquiry into the origin of COVID-19 and appropriate action to pressure China to cooperate with an investigation.

  • GRAHAM: “The only reason that Biden's doing this is it’s becoming untenable not to look into whether or not the virus originated in a Chinese lab. We need to find out what happened so it never happens again. If the source of COVID-19 that turned the world upside down is from a lab in China, we need to hold China accountable for allowing that to happen.”
  • GRAHAM: “Biden seems to be more intimidated by our enemies than President Trump. So having the intelligence community look at this is not going to be successful until the world rallies around the idea that China needs to be more cooperative, and the only way the world will rally around the idea of pushing back against China is for the United States to lead. So I'm looking for President Biden to issue a challenge to the world to come together and insist that we have an open and transparent investigation in China.”
  • GRAHAM: “If the first cases of COVID-19 occurred in November with lab workers – doesn't that make it more likely than not that the source of the virus was in the lab, not a wet market? So I think it's becoming increasingly clear: we haven't found an animal yet that is a good host for the virus. If the first cases involved lab workers in Wuhan, it's most likely they got it in the lab.”
  • GRAHAM: “We should put together a sanctions regime against China, put in place sanctions until they fully cooperate with the international community to find out the source of the virus. I don't think, without sanctions, without international pressure, they're ever going to help. So you can look at this until you turn blue in the face. The only way China is going to respond is when the world makes them respond. So sanctions led by the United States, embraced by the world, I think would get us to where we need to go. Now I intend to introduce those sanctions relatively soon.”

Watch Graham’s Full Remarks