Biden Orders COVID & Wuhan Lab Intel Release

    Biden Orders COVID & Wuhan Lab Intel Release
    Last updated Mar 21, 2023
    Image credit: Evan Vucci/AP [via The New York Post]


    • US Pres. Joe Biden signed off on legislation on Monday requiring the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to declassify information on any possible links between a Chinese lab and the origins of COVID.
    • The House approved the COVID origins bill on March 10, after the Senate passed it without opposition a week prior. Following a week of deliberation, Biden said in an official statement that he shares Congress's goal of releasing as much information as possible about COVID.
    • The bill cites “potential links” between the research at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and the outbreak of COVID. However, the law will reportedly still allow for redactions to protect information deemed sensitive.
    • According to the bill, the Director of National Intelligence has 90 days to declassify all pertinent information. The director is then to submit the information as a report to Congress.
    • The US intelligence community has been divided regarding COVID's origins, with the Dept. of Energy and FBI leaning toward the lab leak theory, while other agencies support the natural origin theory.
    • A report released last week linked the COVID virus with the sale of raccoon dogs in a Wuhan market, bolstering evidence that the pandemic could have originated through an infected animal. However, the findings haven't yet been peer-reviewed, and there's no definite explanation as to how the virus could have transferred to humans.


    Democratic narrative

    Ultimately, Biden has made the right call by passing this legislation. Though the bill may exacerbate tensions with China amid an already strained relationship between Biden and Xi Jinping, it is a sound move by the Democratic leader, who is dealing with stiff Republican resistance and endeavoring to scientifically determine how COVID came to be.

    Republican narrative

    Though this is, of course, good news, the next step must be holding the government and Biden admin. accountable for their poor response to this origin controversy. The American people deserve to hear what they knew about COVID in the early days and after. As the US intelligence committee continues to move toward the lab leak theory, the US will have to put even more pressure on China and the US bureaucracy for answers.

    Political split



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