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Biden signs bill to declassify intel on COVID-19 origins

Situated near the origin point of the pandemic, the WIV has long been a focal point for those suspicious of the outbreak.

Published: March 20, 2023 7:31pm

Updated: March 20, 2023 7:48pm

President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law a bill requiring the government to declassify intelligence related to the possible origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

His signature follows both the House and Senate unanimously approving of the measure, a rare moment of overwhelming bipartisan consensus. The vote tallies meant that the measure would likely have survived a presidential veto had Biden opted to withhold his signature.

"In implementing this legislation, my administration will declassify and share as much of that information as possible, consistent with my constitutional authority to protect against the disclosure of information that would harm national security," Biden vowed, according to Reuters.

Of particular interest to Republicans are materials related to the theory that the virus originated as the result of a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where scientists were known to have been researching coronaviruses.

Situated near the origin point of the pandemic, the WIV has long been a focal point for those suspicious of the outbreak. Until recently, however, the lab leak theory was widely maligned as a conspiracy theory.

The Department of Energy and other federal agents such as the FBI have increasingly backed a lab leak as the likely origin of the virus, while some lawmakers have even suggested Beijing may have deliberately allowed it to spread.

"[I]f you look at all the substantial and circumstantial evidence here, the timing of the leak, the fact that they denied and denied that it even came from a lab... It wouldn't surprise me at all, [if] the Chinese Communist Party released this virus," Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., said in early March on the "Just the News, No Noise" television show.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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