President Biden orders US intelligence to release all COVID origins documents and any links to Wuhan lab
President Joe Biden has signed a new law requiring the release of intelligence documents about potential links between the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
This decision requires that all US information related to this link and the origins of COVID-19 be declassified within 90 days of the law’s enactment.
“We need to get to the bottom of the origins of Covid-19,” Biden wrote in a statement. He noted that any material released should also “include potential links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
“In implementing this legislation, my administration will declassify and share as much of this information as possible,” he added.
The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously before being forwarded to the White House. Republican Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri originally sponsored the bill.
Biden’s signature now directs Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to declassify any information the US intelligence community has gathered regarding the origins of the COVID-19 virus over the next three months.
The debate in Washington, DC, about China intentionally leaking the virus from a lab in Wuhan has recently been reignited. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the Energy Department had assessed — albeit with little confidence — that the pandemic was likely caused by an alleged leak from a Chinese lab.
Beijing denies this assessment.
The president says he believes in the goal of Congress to make available as much information as possible about where and how the coronavirus pandemic came about.
But he said national security risks would still have to be weighed in terms of what his administration decides to release to the public.
“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,” Biden said in a statement on the declassification.