House unanimously tells Biden to declassify information about the origins of Covid-19
The House of Representatives voted unanimously on a bill that would call on the White House to declassify the origins of Covid-19.
The House voted 419-0 on Friday before the House left for the weekend.
The bill, which was sponsored by Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, already passed the Senate by unanimous consent.
“This is a great first step in holding China accountable for this crisis, and I urge President Biden to sign it immediately. The American people deserve to know the truth,” Mr Hawley said in a statement upon its passage in the House.
The legislation would require that the Director of National Intelligence declassify any information about links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origins of Covid-19, including activities performed on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army, China’s military.
It would also require that the DNI declassify any information on researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology who fell ill in 2019, including their name, symptoms, date of the onset of symptoms, their role at the intitute, whether they were involved with research or exposed to coronavirus, whether they visited a hospital whille ill or any other actions taken by a researcher.
The legislation comes after the Department of Energy said last month that an accidental laboratory leak is the “most likely” origin of the Covid-19 pandemic, but that it made the conjecture with “low confidence.” The FBI also said a lab leak likely caused the pandemic that ravaged the globe.
Many conservatives, such as Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, have long said a lab leak could have caused the pandemic. The Houe of Representatives has already convened a select subcommittee to investigate the origins of Covid-19.
But five other government agencies have cast doubt on the theory that a lab leak caused the virus to spread.