Biden signs bill declassifying COVID origin after unanimous vote

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 22, 2023—President Joe Biden signed the COVID-19 Origin Act, Monday, March 20, which requires the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to declassify all information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of COVID-19.

The ODNI must submit to Congress an unclassified report within 90 days, with “all such information with redactions only as necessary to protect sources and methods.”

The Republican-led bill passed the Senate unanimously, with no amendments, on March 1 before passing the House unanimously on March 10.

“Today, I am pleased to sign into law S. 619, the ‘COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023.’ I share the Congress’s goal of releasing as much information as possible about the origin of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19),” Biden said in a statement Monday. “We need to get to the bottom of COVID-19’s origins to help ensure we can better prevent future pandemics…My administration will continue to review all classified information relating to COVID–19’s origins, including potential links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

The decision came just a month after FBI Director, Christopher Wray, told FOX News that the COVID-19 pandemic “most likely” originated from a Wuhan lab during an interview on February 28.

“The FBI has, for quite some time now, assessed that the origins of the [COVID-19] pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan,” said Wray. “Here you’re talking about a potential leak from a Chinese Government-controlled lab that killed millions of Americans and that’s precisely what that capability was designed for.”

That same month, the U.S. Department of Energy concluded “with low confidence” a Wuhan laboratory leak was the cause of the outbreak, according to a classified intelligence report recently presented to the White House and congress, CNN reported.

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According to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, who first reported on the Department’s findings last month, the decision was based on new intelligence although the details of that intelligence has not been revealed.

A report on the origins of COVID-19, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last year, states: “one IC and the National Intelligence Council assesses with moderate confidence that the first human infection with SARS-CoV-2 most likely was the result of a laboratory-associated incident.”

S.619 – cited as the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023 – states “it is the sense of Congress that identifying the origin of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is critical for preventing a similar pandemic from occurring in the future” and “there is reason to believe the COVID-19 pandemic may have originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

“The Director of National Intelligence should declassify and make available to the public as much information as possible about the origin of COVID–19 so the United States and like-minded countries can identify the origin of COVID–19 as expeditiously as possible, and use that information to take all appropriate measures to prevent a similar pandemic from occurring again,” the bill continues.

The bill requires the Director of National Intelligence to declassify any and all information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of COVID-19, including activities performed by the Wuhan Institute of Virology with or on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army, coronavirus research or other related activities performed at the Institute, and the names, roles, and symptoms of the researchers at the Institute that fell ill in autumn 2019.

Dr. Fauci denies funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan despite NIH admitting

Dr. Anthony Fauci, former Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, denied to Congress the United States had funded any gain-of-function projects in Wuhan in May and July, 2021, while repeatedly dismissing the COVID-19 lab leak theory. However, months later, the National Institute of Health admitted to funding gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at China’s Wuhan lab contradicting Fauci’s testimonies. Fauci denied lying to Congress, which is a felony, nor did he retract his statements made on May 11.

“The NIH has not ever and does not fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” said Fauci.

Gain-of-function is scientific research that increases transmissibility of viruses normally found in animals to humans. Congress introduced a moratorium prohibiting the the award of federal research grants to institutions that conduct gain-of-function research in 2021.

Fauci retired from government service in December, 2022, after serving on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, under the Trump administration, and the White House COVID-19 Response Team, under the Biden administration. He was entitled to a pension yielding roughly 80% of his salary, at least $350,000 a year according to an analysis by Forbes – Fauci was the highest paid federal official, making more money than the President, military generals, and Cabinet officials with a salary over $400,000 a year.

From the same pandemic that took the lives of 3.3 million people and left near record high unemployment, arose nine new billionaires after shares in companies producing vaccines soared – worth $19.3 billion collectively, enough to vaccinate approximately 780 million people in low-income countries, according to People’s Vaccine Alliance.

Dr. Fauci, and his bioethicist wife’s, net worth grew by $5 million during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a government watchdog spending group, however there is no evidence supporting Fauci had any investment in a COVID-19 vaccine. The majority of Fauci’s wealth increase came from investment grants, gifts and awards, and federal employment compensation, records show.

FEATURED IMAGE: Wuhan Institute of Virology is a research institute by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Jiangxia District, south of the Wuhan city, Hubei province, China. SOURCE: Ureem2805

Kienan Briscoe

Kienan Briscoe is a 9-time award winning journalist who has worked for a variety of publications including Pulitzer Prize-finalist Puget Sound Business Journal, Sound Publishing, Game Rant, and the University of Washington's newsroom. Before making the leap to news reporting he worked as a freelance writer in New York City. He holds a degree in Journalism from Arizona State University. Journalism, to him, is one of the most important tools for informing the public and holding governments accountable to the people. When he is not reporting he enjoys writing fiction and poetry (author of three novels), playing guitar, reading classic literature, and getting outdoors.

Kienan Briscoe has 434 posts and counting. See all posts by Kienan Briscoe

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