U.S. Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) have sent a letter to President Biden demanding he implement the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023, and declassify and release all information related to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We introduced the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023 earlier this Congress to hold China accountable for its obfuscation during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic," wrote the Senators. "The American people deserve to know how this pandemic began, and their democratically elected representatives have expressed their will unanimously."
In March, Senator Hawley's COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023 was signed into law by President Biden. The legislation requires the Biden administration to declassify intelligence related to any potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origins of the Covid pandemic.
Read the full letter here or below.
June 14, 2023
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Biden:
We write today to urge the swift and complete implementation of the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023, which Congress unanimously passed, and which you signed into law on March 20, 2023.
As you know, the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023 requires the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to “declassify any and all information” relating to links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of COVID-19 within 90 days of the law’s enactment. That deadline, June 18, 2023, is fast approaching. Your Administration has not yet provided any indication of when the relevant material will be declassified.
Importantly, the Act further requires the Director to transmit “all of the information” to Congress, with one very narrow exception. The Act does not allow for redactions based on your Administration’s view of “national security” broadly defined, as you claimed in your signing statement. Rather, the Act only provides for much narrower redactions to protect intelligence sources and methods. Your Administration should comply with the law as written and not undermine clear congressional intent to provide as much transparency to the American people as possible.
We introduced the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023 earlier this Congress to hold China accountable for its obfuscation during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the beginning of the pandemic, China appears to have taken every effort to hide COVID’s origins from the world. The American people deserve to know how this pandemic began, and their democratically elected representatives have expressed their will unanimously. We urge you not to stand in their way.
Josh Hawley Mike Braun
United States Senator United States Senator