Texas State Representative John Ratcliffe is President Donald Trump’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence. His Senate confirmation hearing is the first held in this era of social distancing. This is apropos, because part of the hearing was spent grilling Ratcliffe about his thoughts on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Director of National Intelligence nominee Rep. John Ratcliffe answers questions during his confirmation hearing from @SenTomCotton about the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. pic.twitter.com/ufRkzS3lck
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) May 7, 2020
Ratcliffe Asked about the Origins of the Wuhan Chinese Virus
Nominee Ratcliffe was asked his thoughts on where he thought the coronavirus originated. This is important, because it is now a hot-button political issue. President Trump says evidence shows “with a high degree of confidence” that it originated in a lab. On the other hand, critics on the Left maintain it came from a “wet food” market in Wuhan, China.
However, there was a revealing exchange between Congressman Ratcliffe and Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas. Cotton quoted a study in the medical journal The Lancet which suggested the market was not the point of origin. In fact, only about a third of the cases reviewed in the study had links to the market. Of special relevance, even the first known case has no known connection to that market.
Likewise, Cotton also mentioned that there is no evidence that bats, said by some to be the source, were even sold at the market. Ratcliffe stated that he was aware of both points that the Senator mentioned. He said that if he was confirmed, his agencies would be “laser-focused” on determining the true origin of the viru.
Rarcliffe’s Thoughts on China
It is a matter of public record that China has made numerous attempts to smuggle dangerous viruses into America. A recent FBI report calls China a “biosecurity risk”.
John Ratcliffe is on record saying that China is currently the “greatest threat actor” to the United States. Whether it is the coronavirus, technology, designer drugs, or cybersecurity, “All roads lead to China,” he says.