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FINALLY: WHO Says to Investigate Lab Leak Theory

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
June 20, 2022 3:36 pm

FINALLY: WHO Says to Investigate Lab Leak Theory

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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June 20, 2022 3:36 pm

Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) investigators and scientists told the world that the Wuhan lab leak theory was "extremely unlikely" as to being the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a complete reversal, WHO is now urging a further investigation into the lab leak theory. Jordan and the rest of the Sekulow team discuss WHO's reversal of positions on the theory and what sort of investigations are likely to occur. This and more today on Sekulow.

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Today on Sekulow, finally, the World Health Organization says they will investigate the lab leak theory. Will China comply and what should the US do?

We'll talk about that and more today on Sekulow. Remember the days when, if you suggested that China created the COVID virus in a lab, and even if you were careful to say intentionally or unintentionally, that virus was then released upon the world. And as we're still dealing with COVID as we speak today, things are still not back to 100% normal.

And of course, you could go off other schools and universities going back to mask and things like that. But remember, go back to a time when just suggesting that would get you flagged on social media. That was mis, dis, or mal information. But now, even the World Health Organization is coming around to the idea that, yeah, this probably didn't just originate in a wet market from just an animal, that there was something done here in a lab and it needs to be investigated. In fact, the World Health Organization is now being slammed by China, which is unusual because Dr. Tedros, the Director General, and China have a very close relationship. China basically runs the World Health Organization. So I want to ask you this, 1-800-684-3110, do you think we will ever know the truth about where COVID originated?

I tend to go towards the lab leak theory from the beginning because it just seemed like too many other things would have to come together for it to come out of a market. But remember, just saying that a year and a half or two years ago got you thrown off social media. That is why misinformation and disinformation governance boards should not get in the business of censoring American speech or speech in general. Because there are times when you don't have an answer. There's not a clear yes or no. And it's up for debate. And it's up for analysis.

And you can have a discussion. And remember, neither of those discussions discounted that COVID was real. It was just, who's responsible? Is someone directly responsible, indirectly responsible, or did it really come out of this market? And now we want to find out from China, are they directly responsible for releasing this on the world or indirectly by negligence? It's a fair question to ask, but it's been a fair question to ask throughout the entire process.

And this is what I want you to call it about at 1-800-684-3110. What should the U.S. be doing in response now to knowing that they've got the World Health Organization interested, at least, in getting to the bottom of what happened in that Wuhan lab? Now, China, China's response, very intense.

On Friday, Beijing responded forcefully to the WHO report and repeated its suggestion. Of course, they're not getting censored by putting this out there in the world that the virus came from an American lab. They have no evidence, zero evidence whatsoever. So it's not like the lab leak theory where there's evidence. It's not like the market where there's some evidence.

There's zero evidence. And here's their quote from a China spokesperson. The lab leak theory is totally a lie concocted by anti-China forces for political purposes, which has nothing to do with science.

That's their foreign ministry spokesperson. And they say that we've always supported and participated in global science virus tracking, but oppose any forms of political manipulation. They don't want to comply with this investigation. It's clear China is hiding something. And this attack, the way they perceive it as an attack on China, makes you think it wasn't just unintentional.

Right? I mean, if something happened unintentionally in the lab, China's a big enough power to say, you know, this unintentionally happened. We're sorry, but they don't want to get into the part about having to pay for anything or pay for negligence. They want no responsibility.

They want you to look the other way. That's unacceptable. Give us a call. 1-800-684-3110.

That's 1-800-684-3110. We get back. I'll tell you what ACLJ is doing to take action on this very issue. We'll be right back.

We'll go back to secular. We're going to continue to take your phone calls. 1-800-684-3110.

That's 1-800-684-3110. Just some breaking news, really, over the weekend. It's very important, too, as we still deal with COVID and kind of what happens next with global pandemics. Because remember, the Biden administration wants to give more power to the World Health Organization. The World Health Organization finally coming around to the idea that, you know what, we need to investigate that lab leak theory.

That, you know what, it seems like, in fact, that must have been supposedly the director general, the head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros, said he believes that COVID did leak from the Wuhan lab after a catastrophic, what he calls accident. So at least they're saying, you know, it's probably negligent. There's the question about, is it an accident?

Is it intentional? But now we're refocusing on the leak and China's responsibility. The question is, does the Biden administration do anything about this?

That's question one. Now, part two of this, which I think is also important as we talk China, is that now Russia is China's number one supplier of oil. That used to be Saudi Arabia, which would be an ally of the United States. Now it is Russia. So that continued relationship building between China and Russia, they're always kind of cautious, but it is continuing to build.

And of course, there's a lot of concern that that relationship could lead to more action by the Chinese military, specifically to Taiwan and how closely they're following the world's reaction to what Russia has been doing in the Ukraine. So a lot to talk about there. I want to go to Harry Hutchinson first on the World Health Organization reversal. I mean, Harry, this was something that if you talked about a couple of years ago or even less on social media, you got flagged, you might have your account taken down.

You might have been put in Facebook jail. Just the idea that maybe this didn't just originate in a wet market in Wuhan, but originated instead in the same city in Wuhan with this highly biological laboratory that is kind of guarded in secret. And now the World Health Organization is coming around saying, you know what, this is probably what happened, at least some accident there. The question is, it doesn't look like China will at all comply. So will that actually maybe, Harry, I mean, maybe just a pipe dream to think that it would, but maybe this would kind of divide China and the World Health Organization. I think that is correct.

So I think your analysis is spot on. It's important to note that censorship, whether it's in the United States or whether it's with respect to Facebook or Twitter, that blocks the search for cause and effect, which means that blocks the search for accountability. And so if you look at the economic pendulum shifts in the United States, if you look at inflation, if you look at borrowing costs, if you look at a raft of other things, it's indirectly related, at least in part, to the pandemic. And yet we do not conclusively know, because we've been blocked by China, as to what caused this particular pandemic.

I tend to agree with you, Jordan, that more likely than not, it was caused by a leak from a lab in China. And if indeed that is the case, we should be able to hold China responsible. Number two, we should in the United States take affirmative measures to deal with China in the future, which means bringing important national security goods and the production of those goods back to the United States. So if you look at all of the policy initiatives, both in the Trump administration and the Biden administration that are plausibly related to the pandemic, it's important to note two things. First, that is now fueling inflation.

And secondly, we should account for some of those costs by going after China, either through litigation or by bringing pressure to bear from the G7 countries and saying to China, you caused this, you owe the West basically some form of remediation. Listen, I mean, a million people dead. It affected every family I know. And it's still affecting people as we speak. And so while the virus may not be as strong right now, people are still getting COVID, which prevents them from going to work. You know, it kind of just doesn't allow you to plan life. You kind of still have to plan life around COVID might cause this event or this person not to be able to do.

So you've got to have all these different, you know, just as someone speaking from leading an organization, you've got to always think about it still when you're planning something, especially if you're relying on one person, one person playing an important role in an event. So you could imagine again. And I think that this is even different this summer than when we get back into and sooner rather than later, maybe some parents are excited about that. We start talking about school again. And when you start talking about school again, you start thinking about, okay, what happens then? What happens next?

Trying to get vaccines into kids that are under five. There's a lot of question about that, certainly. I think that a lot of our listeners would have questions about whether or not that is necessary or not. I want to go to the phones. Louis in Kentucky on Line 1.

Hey, Louis, welcome to Sekulow. You're on the air. Hey, Jay, thanks for taking my call. I'm a listener every day to your program.

Thank you. And regarding the COVID, whether it's a leak out of Wuhan, China, I think we relatively know that it's from Wuhan. And it came out as a leak. But my question is, I've always looked at it, I believe it was intentionally done as an economic attack on our country, especially during Trump's time of causing so much tariff increases to China. And it was more a biological attack for economic reasons for power. Well, and I think you should be able to say that without fear of censorship, Louis, because I think it's an honest assessment.

You see, you sounded reasonable. You said, hey, we know it's out of Wuhan. Now we've got the World Health Organization telling you, Louis, that they believe it's out of the lab. They think it was a horrible accident. You think it might have been something worse. I tend to also think that if I was going to pick one country in the world that would be willing to unleash a virus that would also affect its own people and cause the death of its own people. One of the countries I would pick at the top of the list would be China, because it's a huge country that doesn't value individual life the same we do in the Western world and especially the United States of America. So even though it was going to impact Chinese civilians, that they would make a decision that would be greater good for China to unleash this on the world. So it's not so far outside normal thinking, rational thinking, that China could have done it intentionally.

But the second part goes to, I think, where a lot of people have questions about. First of all, back in February of 2021 they tried to shut this down completely with the World Health Organization. So it caused a lot of confusion there, Harry, when back then the WHO in China released a report saying that the lab leak theory was, quote, extremely unlikely. And then to make this kind of reversal more than a year later saying, well, in fact, we now believe it's likely. But we know, as one of the commenters put in, it's been three years, and that gives China three years to purge all of the kind of evidence or witnesses. We had witnesses show up that disappeared in places like that. I mean, three years, it makes it tougher and tougher to peg it down on who exactly was involved, especially when you're talking with a bad actor like China.

I think that is precisely correct. So we've given China a three-year head start on hiding relevant information. Was China engaged in an intentional campaign to essentially leak this virus and cause economic and human pain on the American people? If that is the case, we should impose punitive tariffs. But also keep in mind it is important for the American people to understand whether or not there was any involvement by U.S. government officials, including officials tied to the CDC or tied to Dr. Fauci, because keep in mind the United States has funded gain-of-function research.

And so it's very possible that there are culpable actors with respect to COVID-19 in the United States, and those individuals should also be held accountable. I want to take Diane's call quickly out of Nevada online, too. Hey, Diane, welcome to Sekulow. You're on the air. Yeah, hi.

Thanks, Jay, for taking my call. As I was listening to you all talk, it occurred to me that China probably shouldn't really be fooling with these kind of viruses. It's such an odd virus.

It's almost like they're in the middle of germ warfare here, and that whether it was accidental or not, it's really not an accident. Well, I mean, I think they have shown now, if the World Health Organization also believes what most of us believe, that this is a lab leak, that they don't have the sophistication necessary, the trust necessary. A lot of this research is done to try and prevent the pandemic. The idea is you do the research so you can figure out, so like in poultry and other animals, how do you prevent these pandemics?

So you've got to do research, but you've got to have, as Harry was talking about, really trustworthy places to do that research. And I don't put China, again, on the top of the list of places I trust, since I put them on the top of the list of places that would unleash a virus that would even impact their own people. So again, I do like the switch from the World Health Organization. We're taking action on it. We'll talk about it a little bit more when we come back from the break. 1-800-684-3110 to talk to us on the air.

That's 1-800-684-3110. We'll be right back. Welcome back to Sekulow. So we're going to take your calls on WHO. Rick Rinnell is going to be joining us, too, to talk about some of this as well. But also these attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers, this Jane's Revenge group.

Over 60 attacks, 5 which have been fire bombings, and they say it's going to get worse. Now we know the Supreme Court's got decision days on opinion days on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. Could go into next week as well. So we don't necessarily know that we'll get that decision on Roe vs. Wade this week. But what we do know is that the abortion radicals are planning a violent, not just a protest campaign, but an offshoot is planning a violent campaign. So we're going to get into that in just a minute. But I did want to take Mary Ellen's call on WHO and COVID. Hey, Mary Ellen, welcome to Sekulow. You're on the air. Yes. Rick, you're covering this. Yes. Well, I had two points.

One was a question. It's like, who would be leading the investigation? Would it be China? And the other question is, or I should say maybe comment, it's like, if China is an enemy and Iran is an enemy, and we look at what Iran did when they invited people in, so-called, to investigate, they removed the evidence.

I think Mary Ellen would be very similar in China, except for they're taking even a harder line. It's going to be very difficult for the WHO to go back in. One, it's three years later, so they've covered up anything they need to cover up. But two, I think the bigger issue is that the world is starting to realize together that it was the Chinese who were responsible, either by what the World Health Organization calls a catastrophic accident or intentional, and that that should put into question any of their ability to do this research, to get at least a green light from the world to do this research publicly and be taken seriously as one of the world actors that can do this research in a safe and effective way, because I think they have failed the world, and so many people have lost their lives because of either a catastrophic accident that shouldn't have occurred or an intentional act by China.

I want to shift gears a little bit here. We're going to cover WHO, too, with Rick, so keep your calls coming on that, but also your calls on this increase in violence we're seeing against pro-life organizations, just organizations that exist, pro-life pregnancy centers. We represent a lot of these pro-life pregnancy centers because pro-abortion states like to try and put them out of business. But now they're coming under violent attacks, CeCe. We've got up to 60 separate attacks, five which were—a lot of these include high levels of vandalism, not just spray painting, but five of them were firebombed-out offices.

Right, it's ridiculous. It's an attack by the anti-abortion groups on any group that fights for life, and we've seen that this Jane's Revenge group, they're calling for even escalating violence, and declared it to be open season on pro-life health centers. So we can imagine that this violence is even going to get worse. It's not going to just be vandalism, breaking things, stealing things, spray painting things, and even firebombing and burning things.

What's the next step? Are they going to start harming the people at these centers? So it's disheartening, and like you said, it's been over 60 attacks on churches, pro-life organizations, property, and people by these anti-abortion groups.

I want to hear from you on this. Why won't the Biden administration and the Department of Justice do their job here? I mean, they should be protecting all Americans, even if they don't like the political views of those pro-life pregnancy centers. They're not hurting anybody. They're not even trying to get involved in politics, but they do need the protection just like all Americans deserve when there's an organized criminal effort to attack their facilities, an organized criminal effort which has said, by the way, right now, this is what we're doing.

It's going to get worse. What gets worse than firebombing is people actually getting injured. So they're doing the firebombing late at night when they believe no one's there. If they're already saying we're going to take this up a notch, taking it up a notch, the only way to do that, after you started firebombing at night, is people getting hurt, violence, and hopefully no one getting killed. I want to play the sound from Senator Mike Lee, who has just said, where is the Justice Department here by six? The Justice Department has turned a blind eye to blatant violations of 18 USC section 1507, the provision that prohibits people from showing up at the home of a Supreme Court justice to protest. And by not condemning those, by not prosecuting them, the Biden administration is propelling this and legitimizing the attacks.

Andy, what Mike Lee's saying there is you're not already enforcing the basic laws about the Supreme Court justices. We've got some horrendous imagery. Have we pulled it, guys? Some of this imagery outside of Justice Barrett's home, which we'll put up for you while we're speaking. They put out messages through social media, communiques, as they call it. Seems similar to Antifa, a lot of anarchy signs and things like that happening across the country. Put a team of prosecutors on it and put these people behind bars.

Absolutely, Jordan. That's exactly what you're supposed to do. These are federal hate crimes. These are state crimes as well. These are arson. These are robberies. These are vandalism and break-ins and homicides in some cases. But the federal government should be taking the lead because they are attacking people who are because of their thought and because of their beliefs and because of their policies and their mental attitudes toward abortion and toward as we are pro-life. And as Senator Lee said, what you are doing is you are facilitating by not doing anything to these people the continuation of these kinds of desecratory acts. As Senator Cotton said, and I'm very proud of him, he said the Attorney General should resign over the Justice Department's inaction on more than 60 attacks that you mentioned that have been taking place in pregnancy centers and churches in recent weeks. I want to point out one thing particularly horrendous to me because in looking at this, I noticed not only are they busting windows up and blowing them up and putting satanic symbols, but they are actually going in and taking the Holy Eucharist, the consecrated blood and body of Christ, and throwing it on the floor and stepping on it and spitting upon it.

This is the ultimate sin of all that I remember historically, the desecration of the Eucharist, and that is what is occurring here. You know, I think then too, to go to Cece on this, because Cece, we know this case is coming any day now. I mean, we are in that time zone. So we know there's going to be a lot of protests. Most of those hopefully will be peaceful on both sides of the aisle.

They should be. I would say that to pro-life protesters, peaceful. And the counter-protest. And really, for pro-life supporters out there, we've got to get to work after this case if it goes our way.

A lot to do, not just protest, because it's opening the door to a lot of potential positive work to protect human life. But they are trying to shut down the kind of, I call them always the front-line groups, the pro-life pregnancy centers, when I speak to their groups, when we represent their groups. And if they can shut them down, they want to, because they always want to say that on the pro-life side, we have no other options, we don't care about the women, we don't provide, and yet these are the groups that are the front-lines doing just that. And they know that, so they want them to, they are actually threatening some to say you've got like 30 days to shut down or else.

Right. So they see the writing on the wall, and they're trying to intimidate, again, which is illegal, they're trying to intimidate the justices. I mean, they literally say that they're calling on the pro-choice majority, which is not true, in the U.S. to stop the Supreme Court from overturning the abortion rights case Roe v. Wade. So they attack and intimidate at the court level, and now they're attacking and intimidating because if they don't win and Roe v. Wade does get overturned, they know that they've got to shut down these pregnancy resource centers because they are the ones that are on the front-lines saving these babies and getting women to choose life, and they don't want that. I want you to see the imagery outside of Judge Barrett's home.

You see how people are dressed in, but she's got children. Again, if they were protesting in a place that was legal, that's one thing, but as we've said, they are violating the law and the Department of Justice refusing to enforce the law. Now, in COVID, we've got a lawsuit on that as well against the ODNI to find out the origins of COVID, why the U.S. stopped responding to this. The ACLJ is still on that as well. Support our work at ACLJ.org.

Second half hour coming up. If you want to be a member, thank you. And if you're not, well, this is the perfect time to stand with us at ACLJ.org where you can learn more about our life changing work. Become a member today.

ACLJ.org. Live in freedom. We're going to talk to that with Rick Rinnell. He's going to be joining us in the next segment of the broadcast live, talking about World Health Organization, talking about this Russia now receiving, providing more oil to China than Saudi Arabia. They're now the number one provider, Russia, so that relationship there, how we need to be careful there.

The World Health Organization issue as well. So we'll talk about all of that. But we're also going to be talking about, I want to make sure you knew this so you don't tune out. In the final segment of the broadcast today, but all live, we're going to bring in our director of government affairs. I know there's been a lot of talk about the gun control debate on Capitol Hill and especially the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C., and a lot of rush to put this legislation forward before the July 4th holiday. So we're going to sit down with Thanh Bennett and go through it for you so you know exactly where things stand, what the issues are.

Remember, we don't have legislative text yet, so it's difficult for either side to say, yeah, they support this, they don't support this. But I know you want to be update on it, and we are going to update you on it. Let me take Whitney's call on WHO, though she's been holding on.

I don't want to get to that. Hey, Whitney, calling from Texas. You're on the air.

Thanks so much. I'm just really thankful to the ACLJ for bringing up so many of these issues. It was on your program that I first heard about the World Health Organization's attempt to partner with governments to surveil the citizens and the Biden administration's likelihood to go along with that. And so I'm thinking that this current move toward investigation, not only being too little too late, but is really disingenuous. And I was wondering if you all thought, does this current move toward the investigation, do you think that's really just an attempt to squelch a lot of the opposition that's been vocalized? That's a good point, because it might be an attempt, but the fact that it took the World Health Organization this long, I'm glad that they're finally getting to this point, but they're getting to a point where they really can't ever investigate it. China's saying they're not going to allow an investigation.

How do you investigate something three years old anyways when you're dealing with a bad actor country who could make all the evidence disappear and the people around it disappear? So for me, I think it might be that you're right, Winnie, that they're trying to do this to get more power from world countries, including the United States. And the U.S. was proposing to give the World Health Organization that surveillance power, that tracking power, that disinformation power. And yet the World Health Organization is all over the place on the origins of COVID. And so it's why you should allow for free and robust debate and not be afraid of the Chinese Communist Party and their words for preventing you from actually having a discussion about how did this happen? It's still a very valid question when people are still dying from COVID today. It's not at the rate it was.

They're certainly still testing positive. It is affecting our life. And we still don't know exactly where it came from and what's next. And the whole debate's about, you know, giving this vaccine to kids under five. There's a lot of debates around all of this, right? And it feels like it's just kind of thrown on us that we just accept it as fact as we do, and then they change the fact. And they change the fact a year and a half later, and we're just supposed to just shrug our shoulders and say, oh, yeah, the World Health Organization is great.

No. So we're going to stay on it. Remember, we've got the lawsuit about why the Biden administration canceled the Trump administration's State Department investigation into COVID origins. That lawsuit, again, is in production now. We got our first production on May 16th of 2022. And we've got a next joint status report.

It just occurred last week. So, again, we're on these issues. We're going to talk to Rick Rinnell about them. We'll continue to take your phone calls as well. 1-800-684-3110.

That's 1-800-684-3110. We're going to talk to Rick about these issues and also the issues with Russia. Then we're going to get from Tham Bennett, our director of government affairs, we are going to get into the gun issue as well and some of what's going on in the U.S. Senate. I think there's a lot of confusion there, and they're on a pretty short timeline. New York Times just put out an article that Israel's governing coalition will vote to dissolve parliament within the next week or next. Yeah, so more elections coming in Israel. We knew that that coalition had fallen apart.

We just didn't know exactly when they would dissolve. So it looks like they could not put the coalition back together. More elections in Israel will, of course, stay on that with our office in Jerusalem.

All right, welcome back to Sekulow. We are taking your phone calls at 1-800-684-3110, taking a lot of calls on the WHO. And I want to get into that with Rick Rinnell, our senior advisor for foreign policy and national security. Rick, we've seen a flip-flop now from the World Health Organization, reporting now and China not happy about it, but that their director general does now believe that there was a leak from the Wuhan lab that was, quote, caused by a catastrophic accident, is what they're saying, in 2019 that led to the worldwide COVID pandemic. This, of course, goes against the Chinese talking points that the COVID pandemic originated in the United States.

But I want to ask you, Rick, do you think the significance? I mean, there's a lot of questions about, I don't like a lot of parts about the World Health Organization, but something went on there where they were willing to make us put out these statements. They're calling for a reinvestigation as well, though three years after the fact is pretty difficult. But, you know, there's got to be a reason why behind they're willing to challenge China on this now. Look, there's a long history of the Chinese controlling the World Health Organization through the elections at the U.N.

They have really tried to implement their Chinese strategy of controlling U.N. agencies, and they've done a pretty good job of it. In April of 2020, during the Trump administration, when I was acting director of national intelligence, we issued a statement, an IC-wide, an intelligence community-wide statement saying that the Wuhan virus, the coronavirus, it all started in Wuhan, and it was because of two possibilities. And this was an intelligence-wide assessment. One was animal to human transmission. The other was the Wuhan lab.

We knew at the time that the Wuhan lab was the likely place. That has only increased over the years. For WHO to come around now and finally come to the assessment that we've known for years just signifies that they are not paying attention to real facts. They're controlled by the Chinese. And they finally really couldn't bear the embarrassment of continuing down this road of denying the facts. Every country, even the Germans and the Europeans now, are literally looking at the facts and understanding them. And so they were in danger of really losing the credibility of the rest of the world if they didn't catch up.

It was sheer embarrassment for WHO to completely change their thinking. And I think they should be embarrassed because, as you said, there were so many different countries and international organizations and individuals just looking at it, scientists looking at it and saying, okay, how likely it would be this, how much more likely it could be this out of this lab. But then we see the Chinese response. While the WHO wants to do more research and investigation into this, I mean, it doesn't seem like, Rick, we can expect much from China to let those investigators in. At this point, if probably anything that's relevant, unfortunately, has been destroyed, including the people. One thing to just note is that the UN seldom does any research on its own.

It's really a compilation of countries. And so what WHO is going to rely on are member states, countries, intelligence. And so they're going to be looking at the United States intelligence. They should have been looking more closely over the last two years. And by the way, you can go to the DNI website and that intelligence community wide statement is still on the DNI website.

It's been there since April of 2020. So it's important for us to push international organizations like the UN and others to read the facts and respond and not be so political. They have allowed the Chinese to take over the whole process and therefore there hasn't really been a real investigation.

And I doubt we'll ever get one. Remember that it took the UN a couple of years to come forward and say that the Syrians had used chemical weapons against its people. We had the facts. Every country knew this already. We could see the video evidence. But the UN was like two or three years late.

So they're never going to be at the forefront. You know, Rick, part of this, too, was that this was kind of the beginning of that disinformation online. That if you question the World Health Organization, if you posted that, hey, maybe this wasn't out of a market in Wuhan, but in fact was lab generated. And even if you put the caveats of unintentional or negligence and not necessarily intentionally done, you were flagged on social media. This was something banned from social media. You could get your account shut down if you kept putting it out there.

Certainly could be put in Facebook or Twitter, jail over this. And it kind of points to me, at the same time, the Biden administration wants to give more disinformation power to WHO when they are changing their mind. And to me, this should have been something that you're allowed to have an open and free debate about, especially when there isn't a 100 percent conclusion on how this occurred because of how important it still is to the world.

The impact it's still having on the world, unfortunately. Jordan, that's such a great point, because in reality, we were bending the world and big tech was bending to the Chinese propaganda. Remember that the Chinese in the very beginning blamed the Italians for COVID-19. Then they tried to blame the U.S. military.

So they were literally throwing disinformation out there. And it was just a few short months later that the Chinese were celebrating the Democrats and the Joe Biden campaign for saying that Hunter Biden's laptop was Russian disinformation. The one country that doesn't want you to look at Hunter Biden's laptop is China. They don't want you to see the details of the Biden family intermingling with Chinese businessmen and Chinese officials.

It's all about money. And so we have bent to the Chinese propaganda in the United States under the Biden administration way too much. And this is yet another example where even the UN now is coming around and blaming Wuhan for this COVID-19 outbreak. And yet if you talk about it in America, there's still woke people who will call you a racist for saying that. It's really a disinformation campaign targeting dissenting information.

Yeah. And then I want to stay on China for a bit more, because uniquely now Russia, bring them into the fold, is now the number one supplier of oil to China. They displaced Saudi Arabia. So that relationship continuing to get closer as the world watches not only what's going on in Ukraine, but what the Chinese might do in Taiwan. And it just seems like, again, they're more reliant on Russia, they're building up a much closer relationship, and they are in line with each other's foreign policy. And so, Rick, what do you make of the fact that now Russia is the number one supplier to China when the rest of the world tried to cut Russia off? Look, the Western alliance, the Western countries really did a good job in the beginning of trying to implement these sanctions.

It took the Europeans way too long to come around, but they did. But we've got a problem now with countries that are going around the international sanctions, and it's not just China, it's also India. So the Russians are very pleased that they're still able to sell, and they're able to sell around the sanctions. I saw a couple of reports where Putin was saying, you know, and some of this is spin and propaganda, but he was claiming that the sanctions have done nothing to harm the Russian economy. Now, we know that that's not true, but the point, the larger point taken is that they are surviving these sanctions.

We have not been able to grip them enough, and now the Russians are getting money by selling oil to countries that are ignoring the international sanctions. Yeah, and if that continues to occur, how concerned are you about the potential action in Taiwan? I mean, I think that's the other major international focus right now is that some people thought, well, since Russia's kind of had a tougher time in Ukraine, maybe that's given the Chinese pause, but it certainly seems like their buildup continues, their threats continue, and the way they're treating the rest of the world is with pretty nasty rhetoric.

Well, to really dig deep into this relationship, I think that you're going to have to see that the Chinese are going to be very duplicitous. They're going to pretend like they are trying to abide by the international sanctions. They're going to pretend to not be too close to the Russians, but we're going to see them not only buying Russian energy and oil, but they're also going to take the lesson that there are countries like India and others that will go around the sanctions.

And so this is a way for the Chinese to say, if we calculate that we're going to do something in Taiwan, whether it's militarily or just a crackdown of some sort, we can rely on some other countries to go around the sanctions. We don't have to assume that there will be worldwide sanctions against us. That's a scary lesson, and I think that the Biden administration is going to have to start playing a bigger, tougher game with countries like India. Remember, we don't have a U.S. ambassador to India because the mayor of L.A. is not being able to be confirmed.

I think we should move on and try to find somebody to get them there as quickly as possible. I mean, this is way too long an administration not to have an ambassador to a major country like that. I mean, it's a world power. It's a nuclear power. It's important economically to the U.S., important in the region.

Rick, as always, I appreciate your insight and, of course, the additional insight to facts like that that don't make front page news that there's no U.S. ambassador to India right now when we're talking about all these issues. As always, let me encourage you to support the work of the ACLJ at ACLJ.org. When we come back, these gun proposals in the U.S. Senate, they have been and our director of government affairs is just going to update us on where they stand. Is it likely they're actually going to have a vote in the Senate before the July 4th holiday? All that coming up next on Secular. Folks, I wanted to use this final segment today to get you updated because it's something that could happen relatively quickly if there is bipartisan agreement or enough bipartisan agreement, enough Republican agreement, that it could happen before the July 4th legislative holiday.

Let me bring in Thanh Binh, our director of government affairs. Thanh, I know a lot of our listeners are strong supporters of the Second Amendment. And it's not that they don't necessarily want to see anything done after these because they know there's a problem with specifically these mass shootings, the people involved, the age groups involved, the backgrounds involved. I mean, there's a lot of similarities, but it's kind of figuring out how do you legislate to figure that out when you've got the Second Amendment protections in place. But there is a kind of an agreement in principle right now in Washington, D.C., on some legislative steps. Now, there's no legislative text yet, but let's walk people through some of these that are potentially going to be voted on before July 4th recess. Yeah, Jordan, it's been just over a week now since that framework that you talk about was announced between Chris Murphy of Connecticut, a Democrat, and John Cornyn of Texas. And of course, before we even get into the provisions, Jordan, the thing that makes this significant is that initially there were 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans who said they were in favor of this framework. So in theory, that gives you enough votes to pass the United States Senate. But as you try to write legislative text, you run right into that problem that you just talked about, Jordan.

I mean, I think there are good-meaning Americans on both sides of the aisle that probably have agreement on a lot of these issues, but it's difficult to write legislative text that doesn't infringe upon the fundamental rights of all Americans. So what you've got here is a nine-point plan that these 20 senators are negotiating. There's a core group of four, the two senators that I mentioned, and then also Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. And Jordan, I kind of break these nine provisions down into three buckets. There's three that are centered around mental health that I think they're going to get to an agreement on. There's three that are largely non-controversial.

They're largely clerical in nature. I think they're going to get agreement on those. But then, Jordan, there are three provisions that I think maybe we should walk through one at a time.

Maybe I'll just throw them at you and you can kind of let me know how you want to dig into them. But the first one is around these red flag laws that people have probably heard about. The second is related to domestic violence restrictions. And then the third is an enhanced review for buyers of guns who are under the age of 21. I think those three, Jordan, are where they're still working, where they're trying to get legislative text that both sides can agree on. Yeah, so let's start with the red flag laws.

Everybody's heard of that now. Some people, because they have them in their states, some states that are fairly conservative, very conservative, like Florida, have red flag laws that allow people to take this action if they know a family member. And most of the times it's because a family member they believe is suicidal. And they can go to a court and get an order that prevents them for a period of time from being able to purchase a gun. But what are they looking at doing it from the federal level, Than? Because a lot of that's been done at the state level.

Yeah, it's a great setup, Jordan. And I think the framework of what they've put in here is probably good. It's basically offering federal dollars for states set up and running of these red flag laws. And I think that's the appropriate way to do it because it allows states to set them up in a way that protects constitutional due process.

I would tell you that of the existing laws, Jordan, some of them do a very good job of that, others not at all. I would say that some of the due process is not protected under these state laws. And so you want to set up a process that lets states do that. The hang up here, though, Jordan, is John Cornyn wants to say we want to provide this funding to states and we want to encourage red flag laws. But if states want to do mitigation that looks a little bit different, other ways other than just red flag, he wants to make that funding available to those states as well. And I think, Jordan, it's a way to make sure that this funding doesn't end up all in liberal states where you would get processes in place that would step on due process protections for Americans. So that's one of the main hang ups right now is whether or not they can come up with a framework in legislative text that would make that money more widely available to the states. The protections for, and again, you see where it gets interesting there, folks, is will the Democrats even be okay with saying, no, it doesn't have to be exactly like this? Because there could be a major legislative hang up right on that point. We don't have the text yet. And that's, again, I know some of you don't support any of this at all.

Some of you might support all of it. We're trying to get you the facts so you're prepared about what they might be coming. Thayen, right before I get to the boyfriend loophole people have been calling it, this could happen very quickly. Yeah, you really have a runway of about four days now, Jordan. I mean, the government is out for a federal holiday today. Friday is supposed to be the last day they're in session before two weeks off before July 4th. And, you know, anybody who watches policy, if you take that two week break without a deal, Jordan, it just it's very likely to fall apart. So I think really you've got about four days here for either a deal to come together in the Senate or probably for it to be put off altogether.

All right. So let's go to that boyfriend. Explain that to people, you know, because it's being called a boyfriend loophole. Yeah, boyfriend loophole. Right now, domestic abusers are prohibited from buying a gun. But it's only if they're married or have a long term relationship with the person involved. And that can include if they have a child together. Jordan, the Democrats in this group want to expand that very, very broadly. So it could be, you know, someone you had a relationship with even decades ago. Republicans are asking for much more precise, specific language.

And look, I mean, let's just speak real to the American people here, Jordan. I don't I don't think anybody has an issue with allowing some restrictions for somebody that has a restraining order in an existing relationship. Right.

I mean, there may be there are some people do that, but there's pretty broad consensus around that. But you start talking about a very different question if you're talking about a relationship that is, you know, 25, 30, 35 years old. That is the kind of thing that they're trying to get done here.

If they can if they can define it very specifically where you're talking about an active domestic violence threat. I think this is one that can be bridged as well. But if you're going to talk about, you know, a relationship from 30 or 40 years ago, this could trip up the negotiations as well. And there's a third point of the of the nine. But the third point of the nine that you say is kind of the sticking point, which is the under 21 enhanced review process. And again, that then the way I've heard some people talk about that is, well, you know, if you're under if you're under 21 and you want to purchase like an AR 15, that the background check should not be barred from any criminal activity you may have committed, like as a minor or other information like that. Am I right on that or is it broader?

Well, you are correct on that. I think it could be broader as well. I think there's concerns on both fronts. One, you know, are juvenile records going to be a part of this process? Are you going to have access to it? Will that be public information or will it be just sort of a broader? If you are under 21 but legally able to buy to buy a firearm, what will that enhanced review look like? And Jordan, I think it's worth noting at this particular point, even inside that debate, there's there's a more nuanced debate that I think is worth mentioning. Look, you've got a wide panoply of constitutional rights, right, including the right to vote.

It makes sense to me for those things to track together. You know, maybe maybe 18 is the age where you can both buy a firearm as your protected right under the Second Amendment. You can also vote.

Maybe that age is 21. But Senator Lee is someone in town who thinks that all of those constitutional rights that are afforded to adults under the Constitution of the United States should track together. But look, it sounds to me from all the reporting that they have probably landed on language here that everyone is going to agree with inside this group. We don't know what that is yet, Jordan, but I can just tell you just from looking at this, this is a hot enough topic that this is one area that I could see maybe a last minute hurdle that they can't overcome. I think if they can come to an agreement around those three provisions, you'll probably see a vote later this week in the United States Senate. But look, you know this as well as I do, Jordan, until there's legislative text, there really is no deal. Yeah, I mean, we're talking about four days, so we will keep you updated throughout this week and then we'll keep us updated as well. That's why we've got our government affairs team is so you know what is going on. So I hope just walking through that and understanding that that could be put into legislative text in a day or two and try to be voted on before the July 4th holiday.

So stay updated with us throughout the week on the broadcast. The Supreme Court's got opinion days tomorrow. Israel's dissolving their government. That means more Israeli elections coming up for prime minister in control there. And of course, aclj.org all these issues got information.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-30 22:14:05 / 2023-03-30 22:34:19 / 20

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