The U.S. Senate just unanimously passed a Republican bill looking to declassify U.S. intelligence related to the origin of the coronavirus pandemic, Breitbart reports.
The bill was introduced by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Mike Braun (R-IN) on Wednesday.
“The American people deserve to know about the origins of COVID-19,” Hawley said during a speech on the Senate floor. “They deserve to know how this terrible pandemic that has ravaged the globe and our country, how it got started and what China’s role was in starting it.”
“Well, I think it’s time that the American people got to decide for themselves,” Hawley added. “It’s time that they actually got to see the evidence that the United States government has collected on this issue.”
Hawley and Braun’s bill comes as there has been a shift in opinion about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
The official position of the World Health Organization (WHO) has been that it is likely the case that the coronavirus was first transmitted to a human from an animal. This animal transmission theory, however, has been cast into doubt, particularly as there has been zero supporting evidence for it.
The theory that is gaining traction is that, instead, the coronavirus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), where research on the coronavirus was taking place. The traction comes from the circumstantial evidence that has been released, including that employees of the WIV had to be hospitalized in 2019.
Hawley was one of the first Republicans, back in March of 2020, to suggest that this lab transmission theory had merit. Until recently, however, this theory had been dismissed as a conspiracy theory, particularly by the political left.
President Joe Biden, this week, announced that he is directing U.S. intelligence agencies to investigate the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have now asked the Intelligence Community to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 days,” Biden said.
This move, however, came after Biden ended a similar investigation that was started by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. This whole sequence of events has led to concerns about transparency. Hawley and Braun’s bill looks to make the Biden administration’s handling of this whole issue more transparent.
Next up for the bill will be the U.S. House of Representatives.