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Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Five - 12 March 2023
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Five - 12 March 2023 - Page 10

U.S. House votes to declassify intelligence on origins of COVID pandemic

U.S. House of Representatives on Friday unanimously voted to declassify information on possible links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the COVID-19 pandemic, sending the bill to President Joe Biden.
The Senate also voted unanimously earlier this month to require Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to declassify such information, CNBC reported.
COVID first emerged in Wuhan, China, in 2019, though it’s still unknown how the virus spread to people. Scientists have clashed for years over whether COVID came from an infected animal that transmitted the virus to humans, or whether the pathogen escaped from a lab in Wuhan.
The effort by Congress to declassify intelligence on the origins of COVID comes after the Energy Department concluded with “low confidence” that the virus most likely escaped from a lab in Wuhan as the result of an accident.
The Energy Department is one of 18 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community. The department was previously undecided on how the virus emerged.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also concluded that the pandemic likely started with a lab incident in Wuhan, the agency’s director, Christopher Wray, told Fox News earlier this month.
“The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan,” Wray told Fox News. “Here you are talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab.”
“I will just make the observation that the Chinese government, it seems to me, has been doing its best to try to thwart and obfuscate the work here, the work that we’re doing, the work that our U.S. government and close foreign partners are doing. And that’s unfortunate for everybody,” Wray said.
Biden ordered the intelligence community in 2021 to provide an updated analysis of how the pandemic emerged. The intelligence agencies were divided on how COVID started spreading among humans, though they said a natural original and a lab leak were both plausible.

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