House unanimously votes to declassify reports on Covid-19 origins

The bill focuses primarily on releasing U.S. documentation on the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.

The House of Representatives voted unanimously on Friday to declassify reports on the origins of Covid-19. Congressmen joined forces in what AP describes as "a sweeping show of bipartisan support" that approved the bill with a vote of 419-0. It is the last step before the initiative goes to President Joe Biden's desk and becomes law.

The debate before the vote was quickly settled. In the end, the congressmen concluded, Americans have questions about how the Covid-19 pandemic began as well as what actions can be taken to prevent future outbreaks.

Ohio Republican Congressman and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Michael Turner said that these questions justify the need to declassify information about the origins of Covid-19: " The American public deserves answers to every aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic." This includes "how this virus was created and, specifically, whether it was a natural occurrence or was the result of a lab-related event."

Wuhan Institute of Virology, Covid-19's research subject

For that reason, the bill focuses primarily on releasing U.S. documentation on the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. This institution, they said, has "potential links" between the research conducted there and where, it is believed, the virus that later caused a global pandemic may have escaped.

"Transparency is a cornerstone of our democracy," Connecticut Democratic Congressman Jim Himes said during the debate. That is why his party also supported the declassification of the documents.

The legislation introduced by Republican Senator Josh Hawley had already been approved by the Senate. All that remains is Joe Biden's signature for the bill to become law. Once achieved, the news agency said, the measure will require within the next 90 days the declassification of "any and all information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of the Coronavirus Disease."