GOP Senators Want Biden To Comply With COVID Transparency Law

Daily Report June 14,2023

Two GOP lawmakers are demanding President Joe Biden comply with the COVID origins bill signed into law on March 23.

The bill —titled the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023— was signed into law by Biden and required the declassification of all information regarding links between a Chinese lab and the origin of COVID-19.

With the June 18 deadline looming, President Biden has still not made any move to declassify any of the documents. Biden’s reluctance has prompted Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO)  and Mike Braun (R-IN) to send a letter demanding the president comply with the bill’s provision.

“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,” the senators wrote. “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.”

The senator reminded Biden that the bill does not permit him to make any redaction other than those needed to protect the identity of confidential human sources. Hawley and Braun urged Biden to comply with the provisions of the law.

“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,” the letter reads.

The senators also noted that lawmakers introduced the bill to hold China accountable for its secrecy during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“China appears to have taken every effort to hide COVID’s origins from the world,” the letter concluded. “The American people deserve to know how this pandemic began, and their democratically elected representatives have expressed their will unanimously. I urge you not to stand in their way.”

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