The U.S. House voted on Friday to require the Biden administration to declassify information pertaining to the connection between the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China and the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In February, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Energy (DOE) altered its stance on the origins of COVID-19 and now believes with “low confidence” that the virus was leaked from a lab in the WIV.
A plethora of mainstream media outlets, such as CNN, Forbes, Vox, ABC, The Guardian and NPR, labeled the theory “debunked,” “disproven,” “unlikely” or merely a “conspiracy theory.”
According to the New York Post, Twitter even suspended one Chinese virologist who claimed the disease was manufactured in a laboratory.
Several members of the Alabama congressional delegation publicly criticized former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci after the release of the DOE report, accusing him of intentionally lying about the origins of the virus.
Fauci has also been accused of lying about funding gain-of-function research at the WIV. Gain-of-function research involves genetically altering organisms to enhance their biological functions. Fauci retired from the National Institutes of Health, which includes the NIAID, in December. However, Congress is still investigating his role in the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) even proposed legislation to eliminate Fauci’s federal pension if he is found to have been untruthful.
A report from the Department of Health and Human Services released in January found that the NIH did not provide adequate oversight of money it awarded to research projects, such as the WIV.
U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) has been critical of the lack of oversight the NIH seems to have over its funding. He even sponsored a bill to require the NIH to create an Office of Inspector General to monitor federal grant funding.
Federal law requires Inspectors General to independently oversee the federal agency they are assigned. Tuberville told 1819 News in February that the NIH does not currently have an Inspector General.
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) took to Twitter after the passage of the bill to stress the importance of declassifying the information.
“Americans deserve to know where the pandemic that completely disrupted their lives came from,” Rogers tweeted. “I was proud to join my colleagues in a unanimous vote to declassify information regarding the origins of COVID-19.”
Americans deserve to know where the pandemic that completely disrupted their lives came from. I was proud to join my colleagues in a unanimous vote to declassify information regarding the origins of COVID-19. https://t.co/0Jl4DQHIgn— Mike Rogers (@RepMikeRogersAL) March 10, 2023
The recent bill was co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.). It passed the U.S. Senate last week, and the House voted 419 to 0 to pass it on Friday morning, sending it to the Oval Office to be signed by President Joe Biden.
However, according to reports, the White House is yet to take a position on the bill.
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