Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has been appointed to a new congressional select subcommittee tasked with investigating the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. “The Members selected to serve,” will, “finally get answers to the Covid origins and the federal government’s gain of function research that contributed to the pandemic.” wrote House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
The committee is a clear signal of the House GOP’s strategy to investigate Democratic policies.r. Greene’s inclusion is a marker of the tone the investigation is likely to take, as the Georgia congresswoman was a prominent megaphone for Covid-19 misinformation and conspiracy theories, which harshly criticizing mitigation measures.
Most notably, in May 2021 Greene compared mask requirements on the House floor to “the type of abuse” suffered by Jews during the Holocaust. She accrued at least $48,000 in fines for ignoring House Covid restrictions. The congresswoman also promoted conspiracy theories that the virus was a Chinese manufactured bio-weapon, and has called for former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci to be imprisoned. Greene’s repeated use of social media to spread pandemic misinformation even resulted in multiple suspensions of her Twitter accounts, including a permanent ban on her personal profile. The ban was reversed in November by Twitter owner Elon Musk.
The subcommittee will be led by Ohio Representative Brad Wenstrup, who was among the Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee) to conduct an inconclusive, but suggestive, investigation into the origins of the virus. Other members include Representatives Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), Mariannette Miller Meeks (R-Iowa), Michael Cloud (R-Texas), John Joyce (R-Pa.), and Rich McCormick (R-Ga.).
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Several of the appointed members opposed public health measures, and some promoted conspiracy theories regarding the pandemic. Rep. Jackson accused Democrats of inventing the Covid Omicron variant as a way to “cheat” in the 2022 midterms.
While the House will be largely restrained in its ability to legislate under a Democratic Senate and White House, the GOP is set to weaponize its subpoena and committee powers to put on a counter-narrative spectacle for the American public. With an appointment to the Homeland Security Committee and several deals with McCarthy already in her pocket, Greene is set to be one of the Republicans running the show.