Wuhan lab report questions reasoning behind air safety and waste treatment systems renovations

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Wuhan lab report raises further questions about possible COVID-19 lab leak
Months ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Wuhan National Biosafety Lab requested bids for major renovations to air safety and waste treatment systems in research facilities that had been operational for less than 2 years, according to a new congressional report on the pandemic’s origins, obtained by Fox News.

“Such a significant renovation so soon after the facility began operation appears unusual,” said the report from the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Republican staff. The projects for air disinfection, hazardous waste and central air conditioning systems “all raise questions about how well these systems were functioning in the months prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.” 

The true reason for the procurement posting is unclear, as is when or if the work was even initiated.  It adds another circumstantial element to the controversial argument that the pandemic began in a Wuhan lab, including suspicious behavior and obfuscation from China’s government and signs the pandemic began months before previously assumed. 

Only weeks ahead of President Biden’s deadline for the intelligence community’s review into the origins of the pandemic, Republicans will release their most detailed case yet arguing that researchers in Wuhan could have genetically manipulated the virus and that “the preponderance of evidence suggests SARS-CoV-2 was accidentally released from a Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory.” 

Staff for Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will include this information as an addendum to their September report. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.

In other developments:
–  Top Biden officials now believe COVID lab leak possible: report
– Fauci, top scientist called to brief House committees; phone call questioned
– GOP reps seek answers from Fauci on whether he misled Americans on gain-of-function research in China
– Sen. Rand Paul: ‘In all likelihood’ COVID escaped from a Wuhan lab
– Mark Meadows calls out Dr. Fauci over his response to the Wuhan lab leak theory

Fauci ‘respectfully disagrees’ that masks are a ‘choice’: ‘Infection is impacting everyone’
White House Chief Health Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has rejected the idea that face masks are a “personal choice” in the face of the increasingly severe delta variant of the coronavirus. 

The United States on Thursday recorded almost 80,000 new COVID-19 cases – well below the January peak of nearly 300,000 new daily cases, but a stark rise from a month ago when daily cases were under 10,000.

While the number of those cases driven by the more transmissible delta variant is not clear, the CDC advised in early July that the variant was likely the dominant strain in the U.S. The CDC once again advised masks whenever individuals are inside shared spaces, but many people have resisted the call to wear masks, saying they have a right to choose whether to wear one.

“I respectfully disagree with them,” Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.” “There are things that are individual responsibilities that one has, and there are things that have to do with you individually which also impact others, and the spread of infection that we’re seeing now … is impacting everyone in the country.” 

“Although you want to respect a person’s individual right, when you’re dealing with a public health situation, and we are in fact in a very serious public health challenge here …  a person’s individual decision to not wear a mask not only impacts them … but you very well may infect another person who may be vulnerable,” he added. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
– Fauci warns latest COVID-19 wave is ‘going to get worse’
– NYT’s Bret Stephens hits Fauci in scathing op-ed: ‘Covid misinformation comes from the top, too’
– Gavin Newsom slammed for mask ‘hypocrisy’ and ‘ignoring science’ by GOP gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder
– Contradictions from Fauci, CDC throughout COVID pandemic outlined in viral Twitter thread

Olympic athlete Raven Saunders becomes latest to inject politics into Toykyo games
American silver medalist shot-putter Raven Saunders delivered a political demonstration at the Olympics podium on Sunday in the latest protest at the Tokyo games. 

During the photo op at her medals ceremony, Saunders stepped off the podium, lifted her arms above her head and formed an “X’ with her wrists. 

“It’s the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet,” she said when asked what her protest meant.

Saunders, who is openly gay, has often wondered if the Olympics could live up to the mission of diversity. 

“To be me. To not apologize,” she said in a wide-ranging conversation after her second-place finish. “To show younger people that no matter how many boxes they try to fit you in, you can be you and you can accept it. People tried to tell me not to do tattoos and piercings and all that. But look at me now, and I’m poppin’.”

Moments after Saunders’s protest, American fencer Race Imboden was also seen with a circled X written on his hand as he went to the podium at a different venue after the U.S. men’s foil team beat Japan in the bronze medal match.

Saunders’s protest comes after a handful of other Olympians demonstrated during the summer games, including players for the U.S. women’s soccer team, who knelt in protest of racism and discrimination ahead of a game with Sweden last month. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
– Tokyo Olympics 2020: Americans who have won gold medals at the Games
– Gold and green: Olympic basketball, NBA business intersect
– Belarus runner says team forcing departure
– Hello, again: US and Spain to meet in Olympic men’s quarters

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TODAY’S MUST-READS:
– Senators produce $1T infrastructure bill after days of negotiations 
– Minnesota boyfriend charged in decapitation death of woman; several people reportedly witnessed incident
– Chicago violence: 5 dead, 50 shot amid bloody weekend
– Drone footage of migrants at Texas bridge an ‘absolute catastrophe’ from Biden, Republican says
– Louisiana man accused of killing his grandma, stabbing mom, and wounding three others during rampage: police

THE LATEST FROM FOX BUSINESS:
– Ex-Facebook employee sounds alarm after rejecting big payday to speak out
– Square agrees to acquire Afterpay in all-stock deal
– Scholastic CEO’s sudden death, an office romance and a surprise will
– Tax agency rules Trump owed $1M refund, but it may not be easy to collect
– California pig rules could cause bacon to disappear

CLICK HERE TO PLAY FOX NEWS’ CROSSWORD PUZZLE OF THE WEEK 

SOME PARTING WORDS

Mark Levin, host of Fox New’s “Life, Liberty & Levin,” explained to viewers how to use leftist tactics to combat Marxism on Sunday’s show.

“I am thrilled that parents are starting to show up in numbers at school board meetings, but they’re abused at these school board meetings,” Levin said, adding “we need to adopt the strategies of the left in some respects … We can use Boycott, Divest and Sanctions against institutions that are undermining our country and destroying the minds of our children.”

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Fox News First was compiled by Fox News’ Jack Durschlag. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Tuesday.

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