Biden signs ‘COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023’

News & Politics

President Joe Biden has signed legislation that calls for declassifying any information pertaining to potential connections between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today, I am pleased to sign into law S. 619, the ‘COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023.’ I share the Congress’s goal of releasing as much information as possible about the origin of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19),” Biden said in a statement on Monday. “In 2021, I directed the Intelligence Community to use every tool at its disposal to investigate the origin of COVID-19, and that work is ongoing. We need to get to the bottom of COVID-19’s origins to help ensure we can better prevent future pandemics.

“My Administration will continue to review all classified information relating to COVID–19’s origins, including potential links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. In implementing this legislation, my Administration will declassify and share as much of that information as possible, consistent with my constitutional authority to protect against the disclosure of information that would harm national security,” Biden said.

The House passed the legislation earlier this month in a 419-0 vote.

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The measure calls for the Director of National Intelligence to declassify any material pertaining to potential ties between the Chinese lab and the genesis of the pandemic, and provide Congress with an unclassified report containing that information, though the measure allows for redactions the director deems necessary to shield sources and methods.

This is supposed to include any information related to “activities performed by the Wuhan Institute of Virology with or on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army,” “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.”

It has been around three years since panic over COVID-19 erupted around the globe, leading to draconian measures like lockdowns, mask mandates, and later when vaccines became available, vaccination mandates.

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