In a show of unanimous bipartisanship, House lawmakers voted 419-0 in favor of passing a measure to declassify information pertaining to the genesis of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The vote sends the bill to President Joe Biden, but when asked whether the president will sign it, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre did not provide a definitive response, noting that "we're taking a look at the bill."
The legislation would order the director of national intelligence to "declassify any and all information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19)."
The bill calls for declassification of information regarding "activities performed by the Wuhan Institute of Virology with or on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army," as well as information on "coronavirus research or other related activities performed at the Wuhan Institute of Virology prior to the outbreak of COVID–19," and information regarding "researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology who fell ill in autumn 2019."
The DNI would then need to provide Congress with an unclassified report that incudes that material, though reductions would be permitted if the director deems them necessary to shield sources and methods.
The unanimous House vote comes about three years since global panic over COVID-19 erupted in 2020, leading to draconian measures like mass lockdowns, mask mandates, and eventually, once COVID-19 vaccinations became available, vaccine mandates.
"Next stop for my COVID origins bill, Joe Biden's desk. Sign it," GOP Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri tweeted. "Now the American people will be able to see what their government knows about COVID origins - and those who lied about it can be held accountable," he said in another tweet.
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