Amid a time of fractious partisan infighting, the Senate on Wednesday gave unanimous consent to a bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri that would make public what America’s shadowy intelligence community knows about the origins of COVID-19.
“I think it’s time that the American people got to decide for themselves,” Hawley said in a floor speech Wednesday, according to The Kansas City Star. “It’s time that they actually got to see the evidence that the United States government has collected on this issue.”
The bill gives the Office of the Director of National Intelligence 90 days to declassify information concerning the origins of COVID-19.
The legislation next goes to the House for consideration. If the Democrat-controlled House passes the measure, it moves on to President Joe Biden to be signed.
The bill seeks to make public “any and all information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of the coronavirus disease.”
It also wants disclosure of any activities at the Wuhan Institute of Virology conducted on behalf of China’s People’s Liberation Army and any activities related to the coronavirus that were conducted prior to the outbreak of the virus in December 2019.
“The American people deserve to know about the origins of the COVID-19. They deserve to know how this terrible pandemic that has ravaged the globe and our country, how it got started and what’s China’s role in starting it,” Hawley said, according to The Hill.
Hawley later noted on Twitter that even Facebook is allowing the once-maligned lab leak theory to be publicly batted about.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 26, 2021
Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana, who joined Hawley in spearheading the legislation, said America’s intelligence agencies have information “that needs to be revealed to the American public.”
“It needs to be revealed to anyone that can look at it to make sense out of what has happened,” he said.
The bill hones in on what is known about illnesses of Chinese researchers in the fall of 2019, reflecting a State Department fact sheet authored in the waning days of the Trump administration.
The State Department fact sheet called for investigating illnesses that took place in November 2019 within the lab.
“The U.S. government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses. This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was ‘zero infection’ among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses,” the fact sheet said.
“The CCP has prevented independent journalists, investigators, and global health authorities from interviewing researchers at the WIV, including those who were ill in the fall of 2019. Any credible inquiry into the origin of the virus must include interviews with these researchers and a full accounting of their previously unreported illness,” the fact sheet said.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were so sick in November 2019 that they required hospitalization.
The idea that the lab was the source of the virus was strongly supported by former President Donald Trump and former Secretary of state Mike Pompeo but opposed by others, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci has since said the Chinese insistence that the virus is purely natural in origin might not be fully aligned with the facts.
Pompeo had approved an investigation into the lab leak theory, but Biden shut it down.
President Biden sides with China, WHO and the liberal media on Wuhan virus—joining the “nothing to see here crowd” by shutting down State Dept. pandemic origin investigation I commenced.
This isn’t political. America must lead on this.https://t.co/9cjyeDmpj9
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) May 26, 2021
As a new focus has been placed on the lab leak theory, Biden on Wednesday said he wants the intelligence community to give him a conclusion about the origins of the virus.
“As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China,” the president said in a statement.
“I have also asked that this effort include work by our National Labs and other agencies of our government to augment the Intelligence Community’s efforts. And I have asked the Intelligence Community to keep Congress fully apprised of its work.”
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