By Katelynn Richardson
The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday on a bill that requires the Director of National Intelligence to declassify all intelligence concerning the origin of COVID-19.
The “COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023,” introduced by Republican Sens. Josh Hawley and Mike Braun, was passed Wednesday night without objection. The Energy Department concluded Sunday that the pandemic most likely came from a lab leak, The Wall Street Journal reported.
FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed this week that his agency came to the same conclusion.
“The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan,” Wray said in a Tuesday interview with Fox News. “Here you are talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab.”
Given that knowing the origin is “critical for preventing a similar pandemic from occurring in the future” and that the pandemic “may have originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” the Senate bill calls for Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to “declassify and make available to the public as much information as possible about the origin of COVID-19” within 90 days.
Tonight the Senate UNANIMOUSLY passed my bill to declassify all the intelligence the government has on #covid origins. Let the people see the truth!
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 2, 2023
Specific information requested includes “activities performed” by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, “coronavirus research” happening prior to the outbreak, and details about researchers at the lab who “fell ill in autumn 2019.”
Sen. Hawley reacted to the bill’s passage on Twitter. “Let the people see the truth!” he wrote.
Sen. Braun called on the House to pass the bill.
“The House needs to pass this bill to let the American people see the facts!” Braun tweeted Wednesday night. “President Biden can’t ignore this: time to let Americans decide for ourselves.”
The Director of National Intelligence did not immediately respond to a request for comment.