After three years, questions remain regarding COVID-19 and how much government officials know about the pandemic's origins. The Senate responded by passing a bill earlier this month which aims to get some answers.
In February, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley and Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun introduced the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023.
A statement put out by Hawley's office explained that it would require "the Biden administration to declassify intelligence related to any potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and the origins of the Covid pandemic."
The statement also includes comments from Braun and Hawley, who pointed out how suggestions that COVID may have come from a Chinese laboratory were long suppressed.
"For nearly three years, anyone asking whether COVID-19 originated as a lab leak outbreak was silenced and branded as a conspiracy theorist. Now these prudent skeptics stand vindicated," Hawley said.
"The Biden administration must immediately declassify all intelligence reports pertaining to the origins of COVID-19 and the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The American people deserve to know the truth," he declared.
"The Director of National Intelligence should declassify and make available to the public as much information as possible about the origin of COVID–19."
Tonight the Senate UNANIMOUSLY passed my bill to declassify all the intelligence the government has on #covid origins. Let the people see the truth!
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 2, 2023
Braun spoke up as well, saying, “The Biden administration has called the lab leak theory a conspiracy theory from the beginning, and has only started to publicly admit they were wrong as the evidence becomes overwhelming.
"The American people deserve transparency, free from government censors or media spin. It’s time to declassify everything we know about COVID’s origins and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, now."
The Senate just unanimously passed @HawleyMO’s & my bill to declassify every piece of information about the COVID lab leak.
The House needs to pass this bill to let the American people see the facts!
President Biden can’t ignore this: time to let Americans decide for ourselves.
— Senator Mike Braun (@SenatorBraun) March 2, 2023
Not everyone is happy about the prospect of greater transparency regarding COVID-19, as Fox News reported last week that an official from China's embassy in Washington sent an angry letter to Hawley's chief of staff.
"[T]he move by the US congress just shows that the US is going further and further down the wrong path of political manipulation," the letter read.
For his part, Hawley told Fox News that the letter is a positive sign, saying, "When China is this upset about a proposal you know you’re on the right track."