The United States House of Representatives has voted to declassify information regarding the origins of COVID-19. The move comes amid growing concerns about the possibility that the virus may have originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
Several Republicans have been calling for an investigation into the origins of the virus, citing reports that suggest it could have been accidentally released from a lab in Wuhan.
The House bill, which passed by a vote of 370-68, mandates that the director of national intelligence, in consultation with the secretary of health and human services, must submit a report within 90 days of the bill’s signing.
The report must include information about “potential links of COVID-19 to the Wuhan Institute of Virology or other Chinese laboratories, as well as any information about gain of function research on the virus,” the bill states.
The move to declassify the information has been praised by Republicans, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying that “transparency is key to getting answers.”
However, some Democrats have expressed concern that the move could lead to the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories.
“We must be careful not to make this a political issue,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “We need to let the science guide us, and not allow politics to cloud the issue.”
The bill now moves to the Senate, where it is expected to be debated in the coming weeks.