Senate Passes Bill Asking Biden Admin to Declassify Info About the Origins of COVID-19

"073-P20210329AS-0975" (United States government work) by The White House

The Senate has unanimously passed the bill requiring the Biden administration to make available the information as to the origins of COVID-19. 

The bill was passed late Wednesday evening through unanimous consent, which expedites the proceedings if no members of the Senate objects. The bill was offered by Republican Senators Mike Braun of Indiana and Josh Hawley of Missouri. 

Passage of the bill, a rare sight of bipartisan agreement

This rare occasion of the bipartisan agreement arrived a day after Biden directed U.S. agencies to do a 90-day investigation of whether coronavirus originated in a lab in China. Biden added that other than the report, he also asked for other areas that can be a part of further inquiry and specific questions that could be given to China.

On Wednesday, the White House clarified that they are yet to confirm its origins. They are still looking at the possibility of the intentional release of the virus. 

After the measure passed, Hawley spoke on the Senate floor. He argued that Americans deserve to know about the origins of the virus. 

Hawley said that the people deserve to know how the pandemic devasted the world and the United States. He also emphasized that they have to know China’s role in it.

Meanwhile, Braun said in his own statement on the Senate floor that now it is apparent that the lab leak theory is viable. He also emphasized that Americans need to know. 

Braun also noted that these “answers” will not be achieved from yet another “botched” inquiry from the World Health Organization or investigations with cover-ups from China.

If the bill also passes the House and is signed into law by the president, the director of National Intelligence would be given 90 days to reveal any information about the potential links between the origin of the coronavirus and the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

Biden announced two possible theories

On Tuesday, Biden made a sudden change in stance about the COVID-19. Biden announced that there are two theories that are U.S. officials are currently looking into. One that the virus naturally comes from animals. Second, that it comes from a lab in China.

“P20210323AS-1651” (United States government work) by The White House

While speaking to reporters in a press briefing, Biden explained U.S. officials’ current position. Although elements incline more to the first scenario, another element leans more to the second. Yet, the majority do not believe that there is enough information to say that the second theory of the virus originating in a lab is more likely.

Meanwhile, when Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Deputy Press Secretary, was asked whether the administration had already ruled out that the virus was deliberately realized, Jean-Pierre answered that it hadn’t been ruled out yet.