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Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Jimmy Failla on Fox News Radio to discuss the origin of COVID-19, unidentified aerial phenomenon, and more. Listen to the full interview here and see below for a lightly edited transcript. 

On the theory that COVID-19 spread as a result of an unintentional lab leak, rather than zoonotic transmission:

“I think that’s a good question, and the answer to it, partially I can’t discuss, and partially [is] no. People have kind of looked at it but said, ‘Well, some of the information that’s out there is not reliable and available,’ but it also takes time to go back and try to track that all together. And it’s China, so it’s not exactly like you can just buy this telemetry off a company somewhere. 

“But there’s two ways this happens, okay. One is it is transmitted from an animal to a human (the Chinese government’s version is at the market, the wet market or what have you). The other is that someone was experimenting with the virus, got infected in a lab accident, and then went out in the general population and infected other people. 

“And my argument is they are both equally likely… On the first one, it’s now been over a year and a half and they still haven’t produced the animal. And after four months we knew what it was for SARS; after nine months we knew what it was for MERS. You’ve got the whole world and the Chinese government looking for this animal so they can say, ‘Here it is in a natural state. This must be how it crossed over.’ They still haven’t done it. 

“The flip side of it is, coincidentally, this happened in the very city where they do these kinds of experiments. It didn’t happen halfway across China. It happened in Wuhan, which is where the lab is that does coronavirus experiments. We know that lab experiments have never led to a pandemic before, but they have led to outbreaks. In SARS, where two researchers in Beijing got infected in a lab messing around with the virus, they took it out and created an outbreak. 

“We do know that the safety record in Wuhan was being questioned as far back as 2018 in a cable to the State Department, and we do know they were engaged in experiments in that lab to take naturally occurring coronaviruses and change them — that’s that gain of function stuff they talk about. They change the virus to make it infectious or more infectious in humans, theoretically for purposes of predicting how the virus would evolve in nature and then developing treatments and a vaccine before it actually happens to that virus. We know they do that kind of work there.”

On the politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic and holding China accountable:

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that it was politicized early... I’m not sure if it was politicized because people wanted to criticize the Trump Administration. I remember in the early days of this pandemic Speaker of the House Pelosi going to Chinatown in San Francisco, making it a point of saying, ‘I feel safe. Obviously this didn’t start in Chinatown, San Francisco. No one in San Francisco is responsible for this.’ No one ever said they were! This is not about [being] [against] Chinese people; they’re the first victims of this pandemic. They’re the first victims of the Chinese Communist Party. They’re the ones that have suffered the most at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. 

“But I think there was an early effort to say, ‘Oh, this is all about your efforts to deflect attention,’ and so now you have people out there saying, ‘Well maybe what the Trump Administration was saying did happen.’ Now they feel OK saying it a year later, but they didn’t want to say it last year because they wanted anything bad that happened to be squarely on the shoulders of the Trump Administration... 

“I remember in the early days of the pandemic it was like, ‘Look how well Europe is doing! Look how well these other countries are doing and how bad America is doing in responding to this,’ despite the fact that in many of these countries they were pointing to, we don’t really know what the numbers were because... they are tyrannies like Iran or China. We’ll never know the number of people that died or were infected in China. But the other [thing] is they weren’t doing that amount of testing in some of those places and the like. But I’ll tell you this: what no one can dispute is that the United States of America has done vaccines far better than anyone else in the world, and that’s due to Operation Warp Speed.”

On the Chinese Communist Party growing influence: 

“Last week [the Chinese government was] out there saying, ‘Well maybe it was the Army, the U.S Army’s experiments at their labs, that created this.’ And that’s their counter-narrative to the silliness that they came up with. I think we have to address that. 

“Look, I think we have to accept that that’s already happening. There isn’t a single movie studio in Hollywood that can produce a Chinese movie — I mean a movie with a Chinese Communist government bad guy in it. You can’t do it. Because it won’t be distributed in China. And so they don’t want to walk away from that market. So that’s how you get John Cena, who by all accounts is a nice guy, doing basically this hostage video last week apologizing for calling Taiwan a country. So that’s already happening.

“No, from all accounts [John Cena] is a nice guy, but you certainly don’t want to fight a guy like that. Sometimes things become unavoidable but you don’t want to, certainly don’t want to look for it. But...everyone that interacts with him says he’s a nice guy, he’s not a political guy. I’m not saying he is an evil human being for doing it, I’m just telling you he didn’t come up with that on his own. I guarantee you, someone called him from the studio that's producing this film, and said ‘You better get something out there right now or we are going to get hit at the box office—and it's going to come out of your check, out of your proceeds.’ They want this movie to be widely viewed in China. They’re making money off of that.”

On unidentified aerial phenomenon:

“The minute people hear about it they think, ‘These are little green space aliens.’ I don’t even start from that premise. That’s the wrong way to analyze it in my mind. The way I analyze it is this — these are the facts. The facts are that there are things flying over our military installations. They don’t belong to us. They seem to evidence some technological advancement that we don’t have and have never seen. And they’re not ours; we have no idea whose they are. Just the fact that there is stuff flying near our military installations in restricted airspace, and we don’t know whose they are alone, and we are looking at it. 

“That’s it, that’s my view of it. Some people add to that and speculate, and look — maybe there is a perfectly good explanation for it, but maybe there isn’t; I don’t know. But we need to ask questions. How can we ignore that…  What if this is for example some technological leap that we get surprised by. We’re building an aircraft carrier and some adversary is building submarines that can launch small drones that fly at speeds we have never seen before with no propulsion, with no wings, and the like and we didn’t know about it. I mean, that would be one heck of a technological leap and a huge strategic surprise, so we have to know what this stuff is. We have to at least try to know what these things are. I’ve never seen one. I’m only going off what dozens of highly trained military pilots, the best pilots in the world, who we entrust our national security to are saying to us. That’s what I’m going off of.

“I think there’s a stigma that comes with it, people like ‘Oh you’re a weirdo, you’re into this or that.’ My whole view of it is, if people want to speculate about what it is or isn’t, I have no idea. That’s the point, we don’t know, all we know is the stuff that is flying over restricted airspace, and we need to find out what it is.”

On the January 6th commission:

“The whole issue is a terrible day and it’s terrible what happened and it never should have happened and it should never happen again. Everyone responsible for it — if you went in there and attacked police officers and did that stuff, you should go to jail. And they are, they’re being prosecuted; right now as we speak the Justice Department has hundreds and hundreds of open criminal investigations, and as part of these criminal investigations they’re investigating everything. They are going to find out everything and that’s all there. That’s all been looked at. The Democrats subjected this country to an impeachment trial of a President no longer in office. It looked at all kinds of evidence. They put that all together and put it out there on national television. 

“The Capitol Police commission had studied the security breakdown that led to that day. Individual committees in the House and Senate are still looking at this to find out what happened that day. So this has been widely investigated. 

“What this is in my mind — and everyone should cut the crap and admit what it is, because it’s the truth— they want a political weapon. What they want to be able to do is to have a commission where they can say ‘I want to speak to Congressman so-and-so, I want to subpoena him for testimony.’ And someone will say ‘Well they had nothing to do with it.’ And it's like ‘Whoa what are you hiding, why don’t you come testify?’ And now they’ve smeared Congressman so-and-so or at least raised doubts about what they had to do with that day. And that’s perfect because it helps them beat them in the next election. 

“It is a complete political weapon and that’s what they designed it as. And you know, Nancy Pelosi is a partisan. She is a political partisan, she is not a policy person. She is driven by winning elections and maintaining power. In many ways that’s what her job is I suppose. It’s a question of driving that narrative.”