House of Representative Unanimously Approved The De-classifications of Documents Related to Origin of COVID-19 and Wuhan

Probe into COVID Origins (Photo: Shepherd Zhou)

The House of Representatives unanimously voted on Friday to approve the declassification of information regarding potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Covid-19 pandemic, sending the bill to President Joe Biden for final approval.

Earlier this month, the Senate also unanimously passed a measure requiring Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to declassify such information.

Covid-19 first emerged in Wuhan, China, in 2019, but the precise origins of the virus remain unknown.

Scientific debate has centered on whether the virus originated from an infected animal that transmitted it to humans naturally or if it accidentally leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan.

Congress’s move to declassify intelligence comes after the Department of Energy concluded with “low confidence” that the virus most likely escaped from a lab in Wuhan due to an accidental incident.

The Department of Energy, part of the U.S. intelligence community, had previously been undecided on the virus’s origins.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has also independently concluded that the pandemic likely began with a lab incident in Wuhan, as stated by FBI Director Christopher Wray in an interview with Fox News earlier this month.

“The FBI has assessed for some time now that the origins of the pandemic are most likely linked to a potential lab incident in Wuhan,” Wray told Fox News. “This involves a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab.”

“I would note that it appears the Chinese government has been actively trying to obstruct and confuse our efforts here, as well as the work of our U.S. government and international partners. That’s unfortunate for everyone,” Wray added.

In 2021, President Biden directed the intelligence community to provide an updated analysis of the pandemic’s origins.

The intelligence agencies provided differing assessments, suggesting both a natural origin and a possible lab leak as plausible scenarios.

House Committee on COVID Origins (Photo: Lenin Nolly)

According to a 2021 report, four unnamed agencies expressed low-confidence conclusions that the virus spread from an infected animal to humans.

The intelligence community collectively agreed that Covid-19 was not developed as a biological weapon, and most agencies assessed that the virus was not genetically engineered.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and another unnamed agency reportedly remain undecided on whether the virus has a natural origin or originated from a lab, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

“At this moment, the intelligence community has not definitively concluded on this issue,” White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan told last week.

“Some elements within the intelligence community have reached conclusions on one side, while others have reached conclusions on the other. Several have indicated they lack sufficient information to make a definitive determination.”

Sullivan noted that Biden specifically requested that national laboratories under the Energy Department participate in the intelligence review of the pandemic’s origins.

He declined to confirm or deny reports regarding the Energy Department’s assessment favoring a lab leak as more likely.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins, former heads of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institutes of Health, respectively, have maintained that Covid-19 most likely originated from an infected animal.

However, the specific animal source has not been identified even three years after the pandemic began.

House Republicans have called for Fauci, Collins, and other current and former health officials to testify regarding the pandemic’s origins.

China has consistently denied that the virus escaped from a lab. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning referred to a World Health Organization (WHO) report from March 2021, which deemed a laboratory origin of the pandemic “extremely unlikely.”

However, the U.S. and 12 other nations strongly criticized the WHO report because the experts lacked complete access to original data and samples.

On the day of the report’s publication, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that all hypotheses regarding the pandemic’s origin remained under consideration, emphasizing the need for further investigations.

Last week, Tedros urged Beijing to increase transparency and share data related to the pandemic’s origins.

“WHO continues to call upon China to be transparent in sharing data and to conduct necessary investigations, sharing the results thereof. Until then, all hypotheses regarding the virus’s origins remain on the table,” Tedros said during a press conference in Geneva.

He also urged the U.S. to share any pertinent information it possesses regarding the origins of the pandemic.

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