House votes to declassify information on origin of Covid-19

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted unanimously Friday to release U.S. intelligence on the origins of Covid-19 in a major show of bipartisan support to mark the third anniversary. The start of a deadly epidemic.

The 419-0 vote sent the final approval of the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

The debate was brief and to the point: Americans have questions about how the deadly virus started and what can be done to prevent future outbreaks.

“The American public deserves answers to every aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. R-Ohio, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee. Michael Turner said.

In it, he said, “how this virus was created and, in particular, whether it was a natural phenomenon or the result of a laboratory-related event.”

The classified order focused on intelligence related to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.Citing “possible links” between research conducted there and the outbreak of Covid-19, which the World Health Organization has declared a pandemic. On March 11, 2020.

US intelligence agencies are divided on whether a laboratory leak or animal leak could be the source of the deadly virus.

Experts say it is the true origin of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 1 million AmericansMay go unrecognized for years – if ever.

“Transparency is a cornerstone of our democracy,” Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, said during the debate.

The focus on the origins of the virus comes as the House launched a select committee led by Republicans with an inquiry earlier in the week examining theories about how the pandemic began.

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It offers a rare bipartisan moment despite often heated rhetoric about the origins of the coronavirus and questions about the response to the virus by U.S. health officials, including former top health adviser Anthony Fauci..

Legislation from Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has already been approved by the Senate.

If signed into law, the measure would require the Wuhan Institute of Virology to declassify “all information related to possible links between the origin of the coronavirus disease” within 90 days.

This includes information about research and other activities in the laboratory and whether any researchers are ill.

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