WASHINGTON, March 21 (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday signed a bipartisan bill directing the federal government to declassify as much intelligence as possible about the origins of COVID-19 more than three years after the pandemic began.
The legislation passed without dissent by both the House and Senate directs the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to declassify intelligence related to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. It cited “potential links” between research conducted there and the COVID-19 outbreak, which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Editing is permitted by law to protect sensitive sources and methods.
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U.S. intelligence agencies are divided on whether a laboratory leak or animal spill is the likely source of the deadly virus. The true origins of the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed more than 1.1 million people in the United States and millions more worldwide — may not be known for years, if any, experts say.
In a statement, Biden said he was pleased to sign the bill.
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“This administration will continue to review all classified information related to the origin of COVID-19, including potential links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” he said. “In implementing this legislation, my administration will declassify and share as much of this information as possible consistent with my constitutional mandate to prevent the release of information that endangers national security.” (Associated Press)
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