The House approved a bill on Friday, sending it to President Joe Biden, requiring the director of national intelligence to release details regarding Covid’s genesis.
With 16 members abstaining from voting, the bill that would declassify information regarding the virus’s origins and any evidence connecting it to a Chinese facility was approved by the House 419-0. Last Monday, the proposal was unanimously approved by the Senate. When asked Friday whether he would sign the legislation into law, Biden told reporters, “I haven’t made that decision yet.”
Once it was reported that the U.S. Energy Department had determined with “low confidence” that the pandemic “likely” originated from a laboratory leak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the Covid-19 Origin Act of 2023 was passed. Two sources previously confirmed to NBC News that this was the case in a classified report that was given to important legislators on the House and Senate Intelligence committees.
FBI Director Christopher Wray, meanwhile, said in a recent interview with Fox News that the “FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan.”
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He also complained that the Chinese government had been doing “its best to try to thwart and obfuscate the work here, the work that we’re doing, the work that our U.S. government and close foreign partners are doing, and that’s unfortunate for everybody.” Senators. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) proposed the bill last month.
“For nearly three years, anyone asking whether Covid-19 originated as a lab leak outbreak was silenced and branded as a conspiracy theorist,” Hawley said in a statement when filing the measure. “Now these prudent skeptics stand vindicated. The American people deserve to know the truth.”
The charges have been refuted and the Chinese government has insisted that it has “always been open and transparent” about Covid. “Based on the poor track record of the U.S. intelligence agencies in forgery and deception, the conclusions they draw have no credibility whatsoever,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said earlier this month.
In an effort to find a solution, Biden requested in 2021 that the intelligence agency dig into the pandemic’s origins more thoroughly “definitive conclusion” Authorities disagreed on the virus’s origin, with some believing it originated from a laboratory mishap while others believed it originated from interaction with an infected animal.