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Senate Unanimously Passes Bill Requiring Declassification of Intel on COVID-19 Origins

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The Senate passed a bill that would require intelligence on the origins of COVID-19 to be declassified.

The legislation requires the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to declassify information “related to any potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and the origins of the Covid pandemic,” per the press release. The bill was introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and co-sponsored by Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.).

“The American people deserve to know about the origins of COVID-19. They deserve to know how this terrible pandemic that has ravaged the globe and our country, how it got started, and what China’s role was in starting it,” Hawley said on the Senate floor, prior to the passage of the bill.

Braun asked, “Whether it’s weighing in on issues of health care, national security, COVID-19, who disagrees with transparency?”

He added, “The sunshine reveals everything.”

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The legislation was passed unanimously passed on Wednesday night. The bill would require an unclassified report to be provided to Congress, according to The Hill.

President Joe Biden asked the intelligence community to “redouble” its investigation into the origins of the virus, as IJR reported.

“I have now asked the Intelligence Community to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 days,” Biden said in a statement on Wednesday.

The president claimed there is not enough evidence to determine “whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.”

He continued, “The United States will also keep working with like-minded partners around the world to press China to participate in a full, transparent, evidence-based international investigation and to provide access to all relevant data and evidence.”

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported on a State Department fact sheet, issued during the Trump administration, that said several researchers at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in the fall of 2019 “with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illness,” as IJR reported.

A spokeswoman for the National Security Council told The Wall Street Journal, “We continue to have serious questions about the earliest days of the Covid-19 pandemic, including its origins within the People’s Republic of China.”

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