After his bill to declassify what America’s intelligence agencies know about the origins of the COVID pandemic received final Congressional approval on Friday, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley taunted Chinese President Xi Jinping in a letter saying the time is at hand to tell the truth.
Hawley’s bill already had received unanimous support in the Senate before unanimously clearing the House on Friday.
Passage came after the Energy Department issued a report saying it believes the virus likely originated in a lab in Wuhan, China, and FBI Director Christopher Wray emphasized that the FBI shares that opinion.
The House voted unanimously for the DNI to declassify the origins of COVID.
Let’s go. This is three years overdue.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) March 10, 2023
The bill now goes to President Joe Biden, where its fate is uncertain.
“I haven’t made that decision yet,” Biden said Friday when asked if he would sign the bill, according to The Associated Press.
After his bill zipped through Congress, Hawley, a senator from Missouri since 2019, took a victory lap on Twitter, writing: “China has been so worked up about this COVID origins bill, Communist officials wrote to my office earlier this week and demanded I drop it. I thought I’d update President Xi on today’s passage.”
China has been so worked up about this COVID origins bill, Communist officials wrote to my office earlier this week and demanded I drop it. I thought I’d update President Xi on today’s passage 👇 pic.twitter.com/uuzGiIebEl
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 10, 2023
Will Biden sign the bill?
Yes: 25% (4 Votes)
No: 75% (12 Votes)
After informing Xi that the bill secured final passage, the letter said, “I know you are keenly interested in this bill—your own Communist officials have written to my office demanding we renounce it, in their usual lecturing, idiotic style.
“But the bill will soon be law—unless you can convince President Biden to veto it. Time is up. Come clean about your role in spreading COVID to the world.”
“I am reaching out to express our grave concern regarding the ‘Covid-19 Origin Act of 2023’ (S.619), which falsely claimed that the Covid-19 corona virus originated from Wuhan Institute of Virology, accuses China of blocking international investigations, refusing to share information and lacking transparency etc. and required the Director of National Intelligence to declassify information relating to the origin of COVID–19. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns this,” the letter said.
“The move by the US congress just shows that the US is going further and further down the wrong path of political manipulation. The so-called traceability report by the US intelligence agency is an attempt to ‘presume guilt’ on China. It is an attempt to shift the blame from its own failure to fight the epidemic to China,” the letter to Hawley said.
“Such a move by the US will only cause disruption and damage to international cooperation in tracing the source of the virus and fighting against it.”
Hawley said China’s anger meant his bill was on target.
“When China is this upset about a proposal, you know you’re on the right track. The American people deserve to know the truth about the origins of COVID, and China must be held accountable,” he said.
Ohio Republican Rep. Michael Turner, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said passage of the bill was vital, according to AP.
“The American public deserves answers to every aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said, including “how this virus was created and, specifically, whether it was a natural occurrence or was the result of a lab-related event.”