Donald Trump wanted to hold a special presidential investigation into a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan, which has been accused of leaking Covid-19.
He also planned to drag his top health advisor Dr Anthony Fauci in front of the presidential panel to give evidence about funding the Wuhan lab at the centre of the accusations, according to the Australian.
It was proposed the inquiry would look something similar to the probes into the 9/11 terror attack and John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
Mr Trump had drawn up an executive order for the investigation, including a bill for compensation from Beijing, but his senior economic advisors convinced him to kill it, according to the newspaper.
Other officials were worried it would be seen as a political move so close to the November elections.
One senior White House official said: “It was actually an excellent idea, just floated way too late”.
“It would’ve looked very political, and (we) had tried very, very hard to make the China issue non-partisan.”
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Details of the investigation
The executive order outlined what would be investigated including the origins of the pandemic, the economic, social and political costs to the US and whether China and its Communist Party used the pandemic to advance their economic, geopolitical, military or territorial agendas.
The probe was the idea of Mr Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro, who accused people of being “China apologists” and said it was a mistake to kill the investigation.
“That was the biggest heartbreak in my four years at the White House. I worked really hard to get that commission established,” he told The Australian.
“We had a presidential commission for Pearl Harbor, for the BP oil spill and for the Kennedy assassination. We need one into the origins of the coronavirus as well.”
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United States officials also suspected a Covid-19 vaccine had already been created by China before it admitted to the World Health Organisation that there was an outbreak, according to a yet to be released book What Really Happened in Wuhan.
The book claimed that current US president Joe Biden had shut down a plan to confront China about its Covid-19 cover up in Geneva and potential breaches of the biological weapons convention.
The White House did not respond to messages seeking comment, reported The Australian.
Last week, Mr Biden ordered an inquiry by US intelligence agencies into Covid-19’s origin, with a report expected in 90 days.
Dr Fauci’s leaked emails
Earlier this week it was revealed Dr Fauci had discussed the claim that the virus escaped from a Chinese laboratory in the early days of the pandemic.
The revelation comes in a trove of emails from Dr Anthony Fauci released by the US Government to Buzzfeed, CNN and the Washington Post.
Dr Fauci was told the virus, close up, had “unusual features”.
The claim covid came from a lab was widely dismissed at the time but recently new life has been breathed into the theory, with Dr Fauci himself saying he is “not convinced” covid is all natural.
The three news organisations managed to get their hands on around 4000 pages of emails sent by Dr Fauci between January and June 2020, although many were redacted because of their sensitive contents.
Speaking with MSNBC’S Deadline, Dr Fauci said his emails had been “taken out of context” and claimed that Mr Trump’s supporters “resent” him because they do not “understand” science.
“There is no doubt that there are people out there who, for one reason or another, resent me for what I did in the last administration, which was not anything that was anti-Trump at all,” he said.
“It was just trying to get the right information, to try and get the right data. What they didn’t seem to understand, I guess that it is understandable that they didn’t understand it, is that science is a dynamic process.
“So something that you know in January, you make a recommendation or a comment about it, but as you get more and more information, the information leads you to change because that is what science is, it is a self-correcting process,” he said. “That is what I was trying to do, always tell the truth on the basis of what the data is. It was never deliberately something against the president.”
It’s been a topsy turvy week in US politics.
Mr Biden slapped sanctions on China blacklisting some firms to American investors, but
Mr Trump responded to the move demanding that China pays ten trillion dollars for its role in the coronavirus pandemic.
He also claimed he saved hundreds of thousands of lives by resisting Dr Fauci’s guidance on everything from closing borders, developing vaccines and wearing masks.
The 74-year-old’s statement came in reaction to Dr Fauci’s leaked emails being published, that showed the then head of his coronavirus Task Force was told the virus may have been engineered at the start of the pandemic, but publicly downplayed it.