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Hawley calls for accountability on COVID-19 origins after law is enacted

Americans will learn what the government knew about the origin of COVID-19 after President Joe Biden signed into law legislation introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.

What comes next, according to Hawley, is to hold federal bureaucrats accountable.

“Today President Biden finally signed my bill to declassify what the government knows about COVID origin,” he tweeted. “Huge victory for transparency. Now time for accountability.”

The COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023 allows the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to declassify intelligence related to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, where many experts believe the pandemic originated. Congress voted unanimously earlier this month to send Biden the legislation that was sponsored by cosponsored by Indiana Sen. Mike Braun, Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall, Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Florida Sen. Rick Scott. All are Republicans.

“My administration will continue to review all classified information relating to COVID–19’s origins, including potential links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Biden said in a statement. “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.”

How the pandemic began has led to competing theories. Intelligence gathered so far, backed up by many scientists, has revealed the likelihood the virus emerged as an accidental lab leak.  Others say the evidence available favors the idea that an animal first infected a human. While others say the two are not mutually opposed.

Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., also chairman of the newly formed House Select Committee on China, said that much information about its origins is still not publicly known. “It’s been three years since COVID-19 upended our lives, and we’re still asking basic questions about the origins of this virus,” he said. “That’s unacceptable.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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