Senate passes bill to declassify intelligence related to COVID-19

 March 16, 2023

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.

Hawley says White House must declassify intelligence on COVID's origins

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.

Braun: "The American people deserve transparency"

"The Director of National Intelligence should declassify and make available to the public as much information as possible about the origin of COVID–19."

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."

Chinese embassy official sends letter denouncing Hawley's bill

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."

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