(The Center Square)
Lawmakers are demanding that President Joe Biden declassify documents related to the origins of COVID-19, particularly federal investigations into the matter.
The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent, which would have required Director of National Intelligence Avril Hines to declassify documents related to the origin of COVID. Republicans hold a majority in the House, giving the legislation a chance, but it is doubtful whether Biden will sign it.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked directly about the bill at a press conference, but she wouldn’t answer, saying she would “not go ahead of the president.”
“It shouldn’t take an act of Congress to force the administration to help reveal the truth about one of the most important public health questions of our time,” said U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Cathy Rodgers, R-Wash., Subcommittee Subcommittee and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith, R-Va., Health Chair Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., and Energy, Climate and Grid Security Chair Jeff Duncan, RSC subcommittee, said in a joint statement.
RELATED: FBI confirms COVID-19 may have come from Wuhan lab
The call for transparency comes after news broke that the White House and key lawmakers received classified briefings saying the Energy Department had concluded that COVID-19 may have originated in a Wuhan virology lab. That news spurred calls for more information.
“Biden officials are dragging their feet and haven’t done it,” the aforementioned Republican lawmaker said in a statement. “That’s unacceptable. The American people deserve full transparency about how this pandemic started, how taxpayer dollars may have been spent on dangerous research, and whether the labs conducting such research are upholding the highest standards of safety. The American people deserve full transparency. We will not stop investigating until the truth comes out.
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After the Energy Department briefing, the Wall Street Journal first reported, the FBI also publicly confirmed the same findings.
“[FBI] “Director Wray confirmed that the bureau has determined that the source of the COVID-19 pandemic may have originated from a lab incident in Wuhan, China,” the agency said in a statement.
House Republicans have vowed to investigate whether American taxpayer dollars played a role after the lab received federal funding.
RELATED: Wuhan backlash erupts after stunning Biden administration entry
The renewed controversy over the origin of COVID comes after Republicans and some in the media were mocked during the pandemic for suggesting that the virus may have come from a Wuhan lab, as The Center Square previously reported.
In 2020, the Associated Press called this idea a “myth”. That same year, the New York Times called it a “conspiracy theory” and the Washington Post called it a “fringe theory”.
Social media companies like Facebook are removing posts in 2021 that claim that COVID-19 is man-made.
“For nearly three years, anyone who asked whether a lab leak caused the outbreak of COVID-19 was silenced and branded a conspiracy theorist,” said U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. “Now these sane skeptics have been vindicated. The Biden administration must immediately declassify all intelligence reports related to COVID-19 and sources from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The American people deserve to know the truth.
Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.