Cotton blasts 'joke' WHO report on COVID origins; insists 'best evidence' points to emergence from lab

Tom Cotton: China needs to pay for unleashing COVID plague on world

Senate Armed Services Committee member joins 'FOX News Primetime' to discuss the origins of coronavirus

Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., explained to "Fox News Primetime" Monday why he still believes COVID-19 originated from an "accidental breach" at a laboratory in Wuhan, China after a draft World Health Organization report states the virus likely passed from animals to humans.

SEN. COTTON, R-ARK.: The report is a joke. I mean, these so-called investigators do not have access to scientists. They do not have access to evidence. They basically went to Wuhan and were put in a conference room and given some coffee and donuts and a few PowerPoint slides. The Chinese Communists told them, "Nothing to see here," so they walked away saying, "Nope, there is nothing to see here." Even as some of the liberal media outlets like The New York Times and Washington Post have acknowledged -- after calling me a conspiracy theorist a year ago -- there are real serious questions about the origins of this virus.

Now, to be precise, last year I didn't say that the Chinese Communists had created this virus or invented it. I said they have a long and documented history of sloppy laboratory practices. Our diplomats went to this lab in 2018 and expressed their concerns in cables back to Washington, D.C. I still believe that all of the best evidence that we have -- circumstantial to be sure, but still the best evidence -- suggests that this virus originated from an accidental breach in those Wuhan labs.

Tens of millions of Americans have had their lives upended over the last year. They have lost jobs. Their businesses have closed. They have lost loved ones. I don't think those Americans want to simply turn the page and let bygones be bygones. We need to get to the bottom of what happened in Wuhan and how the Chinese Communists unleashed this plague on the world and we need to hold them accountable, both directly through measures like my legislation that would open the federal courts to lawsuits against the Chinese Communists, but also indirectly by standing up to their aggression against our country and allies or their efforts to steal our jobs or steal and property ... China needs to pay.

The evidence that might have existed that fully explains the origins of this virus has probably been destroyed in China. I think the only way we will ever know conclusively is if there is a whistleblower that emerges one day from China. I hope that's the case. I hope we get to the bottom of what happened here. Whatever happened, we know that China is responsible for unleashing this plague on the world. We shouldn't just turn the page the way the Biden administration wants to. We need to hold them to account.


Fox News Staff Fox News