The COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023, a bipartisan bill to publicly disclose all details regarding the virus’ beginnings, was passed by President Joe Biden on Monday.
The U.S. Department of Energy and FBI Director Christopher Wray came to the conclusion that COVID-19 probably originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China.
After this, the legislation officially known as S. 619 was approved by both chambers of Congress. Top health officials and conservative media had long seen the lab-leak notion as a valid conspiracy theory, which prompted calls for more openness.
INBOX: @POTUS has signed the bill declassifying Covid origins information, says he will “declassify and share as much of that information as possible, consistent with my constitutional authority to protect against the disclosure of information that would harm national security”. pic.twitter.com/tEIF4inHuN
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) March 20, 2023
The president issued a statement saying he is proud to sign S. 619, the “COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023,” into effect. Biden said he concurs with Congress’ desire to make available as much information as possible regarding the cause of the coronavirus in 2019 (COVID–19).
The president then claimed he instructed the intelligence community to employ every resource at its disposal in 2021 to look into COVID-19’s origins in China. That effort is still being carried out today to ensure they can more effectively prevent upcoming pandemics and determine the cause of COVID-19.
He kinda had no choice: "His signature follows both the House and Senate unanimously approving of the measure, a rare moment of overwhelming bipartisan consensus."
Biden signs bill to declassify intel on COVID-19 origins https://t.co/h0H1FncSmc via @JustTheNews
— John Howson (@johnh33) March 21, 2023
Any classified information pertaining to the roots of COVID-19, along with any possible connections to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, will be examined by Biden’s administration.
In accordance with his constitutional authority to prevent the exposure of material that would jeopardize national security, Biden said his administration will declassify certain records and make sure as much information as possible is available to the public.
Republicans Want Transparency
The legislation was reintroduced by Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Mike Braun on February 27. On March 2, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to support the measure. In a vote on March 10, the House of Representatives decisively did the same.
According to reports, the Chinese embassy protested the proposal and accused Congress of trying to politicize and demonize China in a letter to Hawley’s office.