Biden signs bill declassifying COVID origins

President Joe Biden on Monday signed a bipartisan bill that orders the federal government to declassify as much information as possible about the origins of COVID-19 more than three years after the pandemic began.

The legislation, which passed both the House and Senate without opposition, directs the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to declassify intelligence related to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. It cites “potential links” between research conducted there and the outbreak of COVID-19, which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The law allows for redactions to protect sources and sensitive methods.

US intelligence agencies are divided on whether a lab leak or animal overflow is the likely source of the deadly virus.

Experts say the true origin of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 1.1 million people in the United States and millions more around the world, may not be known for many years – if ever. .

Biden, in a statement, said he was happy to sign the legislation.

“My administration will continue to review all classified information relating to the origins of COVID-19, including potential links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” he said. “In implementing this legislation, my administration will declassify and share as much of this information as possible, consistent with my constitutional authority to protect against the disclosure of information that would injure national security.”

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