Congressmen approved a bill to declassify COVID-19 origin data
The House of Representatives voted unanimously to declassify intelligence on the origin of COVID-19, a striking show of bipartisan support on the third anniversary since the deadly pandemic began.
The bill, approved by 419 votes in favor (no one voted against it) will be sent to President Joe Biden for his signature.
The debate was short and to the point. Their essence was that Americans have questions about where the deadly virus came from and what can be done to prevent future outbreaks.
“The American public deserves answers on all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Republican Michael Turner, head of the House Intelligence Committee.
He said this includes questions about “how this virus was created and, in particular, whether it was a natural occurrence or the result of laboratory activity.” This includes questions about research and other activities in laboratories and cases of disease among scientists.
The declassification request focuses on information related to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. The document points to a “potential link” between the research conducted there and the COVID-19 outbreak, which the WHO declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
U.S. intelligence agencies disagree on whether the virus was a laboratory leak, or whether it passed from animals to humans.
Experts say the truth about the origins of the pandemic coronavirus, which has killed more than a million Americans, will be known in many years at best, or it may remain a mystery forever.
“Transparency is a cornerstone of our democracy,” Jim Himes, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said during the debate.
Earlier this week, a House Select Committee held a hearing on the theories about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill, introduced by Republican Senator Josh Hawley, had previously been approved by the U.S. Senate.
If signed by Biden, it would have to declassify within 90 days, as the document says, “any information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of the coronavirus disease.”
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