Matt Gaetz 'Deeply Concerned' FBI Had Intel on COVID Origins and Didn't Act

Republican Florida Representative Matt Gaetz accused the FBI of "ignoring actionable intelligence" regarding the origins of COVID that he says "could have saved American lives."

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday appeared before the House Judiciary Committee. He was questioned on several ongoing investigations, including the origins of the coronavirus, by lawmakers including Gaetz.

In comments made after the hearing, the firebrand Republican claimed a Chinese whistleblower had documents and text messages relating to COVID that U.S. investigators didn't pursue.

Gaetz told Real America's Voice: "I am deeply concerned that the FBI had actionable intelligence that could have saved American lives, but that they ignored that intelligence. They didn't act on it and they missed a very important call.

"The director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, said 'Well, we never know what a counter-intelligence operation is.' Why was Christopher Wray answering questions about coronavirus with responses that dealt with counter-intelligence?

"What I think happens is that they missed this fact witness, this whistleblower, this person with not only a story to tell, but documents and text messages on WeChat that showed how early the Chinese communist party was aware that this was a deadly virus.

"And also the linkage that exists between the Chinese military, the development of this virus, its testing in the Wuhan Institute of virology and its ultimate release to the world.

"I think the FBI could be very culpable here. We're going to stay on them. The good news is that as a consequence of this hearing, we're going to get back the scientific analysis, the scientific notes that the FBI science team put together as a consequence of these multi-hour meetings with Dr. Li-Meng Yan, but I'm concerned that they categorized her as a counterintelligence threat instead of the truth-telling whistleblower she is. And that that resulted in deaths that otherwise could have been avoided."

I am deeply concerned that the FBI ignored actionable intelligence regarding the origins of COVID-19 that could have saved American lives.

— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) June 10, 2021

Newsweek contacted the FBI and Gaetz for further comment.

Gaetz himself remains under FBI investigation over sex trafficking allegations. The Department of Justice is looking at claims he engaged in a sexual relationship with an underage girl and paid for her to travel with him. The Florida congressman hasn't been charged and denies all the allegations.

On May 26, President Joe Biden ordered American intelligence agencies to complete a 90-day review on "two likely scenarios" of the virus' origins—that either COVID emerged from animal-to-human transmission, the hypothesis many scientists have suspected, or that COVID accidentally leaked from a Chinese lab.

In a statement to Newsweek, the office of the director of national intelligence said it had not reached a conclusion on the origin of the virus and will continue to examine information about both scenarios.

China has rubbished the U.S. investigation of the COVID lab leak theory, calling it a "ridiculous" conspiracy theory.

An article published in the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, The People's Daily, said it was "ridiculous for U.S. to repeatedly hype up 'lab leak' conspiracy."

Matt Gaetz during a House Judiciary Committee
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) listens as FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Capitol Hill on June 10, 2021, in Washington, DC. Wray fielded a wide range of questions, including several about the January 6th Capitol riot. Drew Angerer/Getty Images