Senate passes bill requiring declassification of information on COVID-19 origins
The Senate’s action comes as scientists who previously downplayed or dismissed the hypothesis that the virus could have leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China, are now increasingly saying there is a need for further investigation.
The Wall Street Journal cited a U.S. intelligence report that several researchers at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill with flu-like symptoms in November 2019 — just before the coronavirus began infecting people across China and then the world — and that they required hospitalization.
President Biden on Wednesday asked the intelligence community to “redouble their efforts” to come to a definitive conclusion on the disease’s origins, calling on them to report back to him within 90 days.
Top intelligence officials, including Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, acknowledged at a hearing in April that a laboratory accident was a plausible scenario that the intelligence community was investigating.
“Because we don’t know 100 percent what the origin is, it’s imperative that we look and we do an investigation,” he added.