US "Representatives" agree to lift the confidentiality of "Corona origin documents"
The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill aimed at declassifying intelligence about possible links between the coronavirus (COVID-19) and a Chinese laboratory suspected of leaking the virus.
Last week, the Senate approved a request to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haynes to declassify documents on the matter, meaning the bill has no choice but to send it to the White House, for President Joe Biden to sign it.
U.S. health and intelligence officials remain divided over the origin of the virus, and whether it was transmitted to humans from an infected animal or leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The U.S. Department of Energy has concluded that the virus may have been leaked from a lab accident, consistent with FBI assessments and contrary to other agencies' conclusions.
Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield defended the leakage theory before the Senate on Wednesday, while the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institutes of Health suggest the virus is transmitted from an infected animal.
"There is a broad consensus in the intelligence community that the outbreak was not the result of a biological weapon or genetic engineering, but there is no consensus on whether or not it was a lab leak," Haynes said.
House Republicans reintroduced a bill on Monday that would allow U.S. citizens to sue China, which rejects the leakage theory.
Congressman Chris Smith said: "We must finally get to the bottom of what happened, and who was involved in this deception, in order to bring justice to those who suffered so badly from COVID-19."