The COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023, which compels the director of national intelligence to “make available to the public as much information as possible about the origin of COVID–19,” passed the Senate unanimously.
The bill was reintroduced Monday by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Mike Braun (R-IN) and is a revamping of the senators’ 2021 bill that also passed the Senate unanimously, according to Hawley’s website.
“Identifying the origin of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19) is critical for preventing a similar pandemic from occurring in the future,” the language of the bill reads. “The Director of National Intelligence should declassify and make available to the public as much information as possible about the origin of COVID–19.”
A press release from Hawley’s office said the Department of Energy recently concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic was likely the result of a lab leak in a classified report made available to the White House and some members of Congress.
“For nearly three years, anyone asking whether COVID-19 originated as a lab leak outbreak was silenced and branded as a conspiracy theorist. Now these prudent skeptics stand vindicated. The Biden administration must immediately declassify all intelligence reports pertaining to the origins of COVID-19 and the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The American people deserve to know the truth,” Hawley said.
“The American people deserve transparency, free from government censors or media spin. It’s time to declassify everything we know about COVID’s origins and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, now,” Braun said
An NPR article noted that the DOE’s conclusion that the pandemic resulted from a lab leak was made in low confidence, meaning the information used to make the determination was questionable and fragmented or that solid analytical conclusions could not be made.