Home » U.S. House Passes Bill Requiring Declassification of Intelligence on Coronavirus Origins – WSJ

U.S. House Passes Bill Requiring Declassification of Intelligence on Coronavirus Origins – WSJ

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U.S. House Passes Bill Requiring Declassification of Intelligence on Coronavirus Origins – WSJ

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 419 to 0 to pass a bill requiring the Biden administration to declassify intelligence related to potential links between China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and the coronavirus outbreak.

The House of Representatives voted 419-0 on Friday to pass a bill requiring the Biden administration to declassify intelligence related to potential links between China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and the coronavirus outbreak.

The COVID Origins Act of 2023, co-sponsored by Republican Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Mike Braun of Indiana, passed the Senate unanimously last week. Now, the bill will go to President Joe Biden for his signature. The White House has yet to issue a formal position on the bill.

Before the bill passed the House and Senate, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Energy Department had concluded with “low confidence” that the outbreak was most likely caused by a laboratory leak.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had reached a similar conclusion in 2021, but its level of confidence in this judgment was “moderate”, believing that the outbreak may have been caused by a laboratory leak. Four other agencies, as well as a national intelligence group, still believe the outbreak may have been the result of natural transmission, while two others have yet to conclude.

The House of Representatives voted 419-0 on Friday to pass a bill requiring the Biden administration to declassify intelligence related to potential links between China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and the coronavirus outbreak.

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The COVID Origins Act of 2023, co-sponsored by Republican Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Mike Braun of Indiana, passed the Senate unanimously last week. Now, the bill will go to President Joe Biden for his signature. The White House has yet to issue a formal position on the bill.

Before the bill passed the House and Senate, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Energy Department had concluded with “low confidence” that the outbreak was most likely caused by a laboratory leak.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had reached a similar conclusion in 2021, but its level of confidence in this judgment was “moderate”, believing that the outbreak may have been caused by a laboratory leak. Four other agencies, as well as a national intelligence group, still believe the outbreak may have been the result of natural transmission, while two others have yet to conclude.

If the House bill passed Friday is signed into law, the U.S. director of national intelligence would have 90 days to declassify information on the lab’s research and activities related to the coronavirus outbreak, including details of any researchers who fell ill in the fall of 2019. The legislation allows the DNI to make “redactions necessary to protect sources and investigative methods.”

(this article will be updated)

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