WASHINGTON (TND) — The House of Representatives voted unanimously on Friday to declassify U.S. intelligence information about the origins of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the country, with almost every household feeling its effects," House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chair Mike Turner, R-Ohio, noted in a news release. "The American people deserve answers to every aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic, including how this virus was created and specifically whether it was a natural occurrence or was the result of a lab-related event."
The 419-0 vote marked the final approval of the bill, which has been dubbed the COVID-19 Origin Act. It is now on its way to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
The order to declassify focused intelligence related to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, citing “potential links” between the research that was done there and the outbreak of COVID-19, which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March 2020.
If signed into law, the will give the American public a unique insight as to what was happening at a Bio Safety Level laboratory in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and early 2020," Turner said. "This laboratory, and who was working there, might be the key to unraveling the truth."
The bill was drafted ahead of the third anniversary of the start of the deadly pandemic.
The World Health Organization noted that there have been more than 700 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the globe, including nearly 7 million deaths, reported to WHO as of Tuesday.
“COVID-19 ranks as one of this century’s most significant events. No community was spared, and every corner of the world was impacted. Everyone deserves to know what our Intelligence Community knows, and S.619 is a step in the right direction.”
Experts have said the true origin of the coronavirus pandemic may not be known for many years — if ever.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Associated Press contributed to this report.