U.S. senators have voted unanimously to pass a bill requiring Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration to declassify intelligence regarding Covid originating from a lab leak in Wuhan, China.
The bill, known as the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023, was reintroduced on Monday by Republican Sens. Mike Braun (R-IN) and Josh Hawley (R-MO).
The legislation specifically seeks to investigate the possibility that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China.
Braun and Hawley reintroduced the bill after the Department of Energy (DOE) provided a classified intelligence report regarding the origins of Covid to the White House and certain members of Congress.
As Slay News reported, the DOE concluded that the Covid pandemic most likely arose from a lab leak in China.
The FBI had also previously come to a similar conclusion.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) made a request for unanimous consent for the bill.
The request was granted “without objection.”
Unanimous consent enables a bill to pass without a recorded vote.
“Tonight the Senate UNANIMOUSLY passed my bill to declassify all the intelligence the government has on #covid origins,” Hawley announced on Twitter.
“Let the people see the truth!”
In further comments during an appearance on Fox News’ “Jesse Watters Primetime,” Hawley cited the importance of transparency and accountability in allowing the public to understand the origins of the pandemic.
Hawley told Watters that the bill needs to pass in the House of Representatives, “and then we can get this thing done.”
The senators previously introduced a similar bill which passed unanimously in 2021.
The bill would require Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to declassify the information in the U.S. government’s possession on the most likely origins of COVID-19.
“Listen, the American people—it’s past time—let’s show them what the government has.
“Let everybody see for themselves. Let everybody read it,” Hawley told Fox News shortly after the vote.
BREAKING: Senate Unanimously Passes Bill to Declassify COVID Origins Intelligence
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) March 2, 2023
Braun also declared the unanimous passage of the motion, likewise calling on the House to pass the bill.
“The House needs to pass this bill to let the American people see the facts! President Biden can’t ignore this: time to let Americans decide for ourselves,” he wrote on Twitter.
The Senate just unanimously passed @HawleyMO’s & my bill to declassify every piece of information about the COVID lab leak.
The House needs to pass this bill to let the American people see the facts!
President Biden can’t ignore this: time to let Americans decide for ourselves.
— Senator Mike Braun (@SenatorBraun) March 2, 2023
On Monday, Hawley expressed concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding the pandemic’s origins.
The senator said that for “nearly three years,” those questioning the Wuhan lab leak theory were “silenced and branded as a conspiracy theorist.”
However, the DOE’s report supports oft-maligned hypotheses that the virus emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is located nearby to a wet market broadly cited as the pandemic’s ground zero.
“Now, these prudent skeptics stand vindicated,” Hawley said in a statement.
“The Biden administration must immediately declassify all intelligence reports pertaining to the origins of COVID-19 and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“The American people deserve to know the truth.”
Braun also criticized the Biden administration for its posturing on the lab leak theory.
“The Biden administration has called the lab leak theory a conspiracy theory from the beginning, and has only started to publicly admit they were wrong as the evidence becomes overwhelming,” Braun said in a statement.
Braun said that the Biden administration had kept information about the origins of Covid a secret despite an earlier version of this bill passing the Senate unanimously in 2021.
“The American people deserve transparency, free from government censors or media spin,” he said.
“It’s time to declassify everything we know about COVID’s origins and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, now.”