Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed S. 619, a bill to require the Director of National Intelligence to declassify information relating to the origin of COVID-19. The bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk.
After the bill’s passage, Eastern Washington Congresswoman and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following joint statement with Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (VA-09), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (KY-02), and Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Chair Jeff Duncan (SC-03):
“The American people are one step closer to finally learning what information our federal agencies have related to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden administration, which has been marked by a glaring lack of transparency related to the pandemic, has shattered the American people’s trust in our government health agencies.
“By passing this bipartisan bill, Congress has sent a clear message that it’s critical to provide full transparency regarding what is known about how this pandemic started, how taxpayer dollars may have been spent on risky research, and if labs performing such research are upholding the highest standards of safety. The president—should he consider vetoing—ought to consider the irreparable damage it will cause our ability to restore public trust in government.
“Looking ahead, all pertinent information will help inform our committee’s legislative actions to better prevent, prepare for, and respond to future pandemics.”
In 2021, Cathy led Energy & Commerce Republicans in calling on the Biden administration to declassify information around research conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology Lab. CLICK HERE to read the letter.
In 2022, Cathy joined Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (TX-10) and Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Chair Frank Lucas (OK-03) again requested the declassification of reports related to the origins of COVID-19. CLICK HERE to read the letter.
Earlier this month, Cathy led the committee in renewing its requests for the Biden administration to declassify all COVID-19 origins reports.