House Democrats killed a bill Tuesday that would have required the White House to declassify intelligence related to the origins of the COVID-19 virus after the proposal from Sen. Hawley of Missouri and Sen. Braun of Indiana passed unanimously in the Senate.
The COVID-19 Origin Act was brought to the floor by Representatives Burgess (R-TX), LaHood (R-IL), and Wenstrup (R-OH) before it was shot down in a 216 to 207 vote.
FLOOR ALERT: @HouseDemocrats blocked @HouseGOP requests to declassify intelligence on the origins of COVID-19 & #ChineseCommunistParty's subsequent cover-up. The Senate UNANIMOUSLY passed the bill 5⃣5⃣ days ago…what is the Speaker afraid of? #HoldChinaAccountable pic.twitter.com/uOzbadQ41q
— House Rules Republicans (@RulesReps) July 20, 2021
Sen. Hawley’s office explained that the bill would require the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to “declassify intelligence related to any potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and the origins of the COVID pandemic.”
In a speech on the Senate floor when the bill was originally proposed and unanimously passed, Hawley remarked that “the American people deserve to know about the origins of COVID-19,” adding that some government officials have speculated that the virus may have come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Braun stressed the bipartisan nature of their bill, asking “who disagrees with transparency?” He continued, adding that the virus has “ravaged not only the United States, but the world,” inquiring “why wouldn’t we want to get to the root cause of it?”
Hawley said Americans must hold China accountable, “whose lies about this virus turned it into a global pandemic,” and “whose lies about this virus prevented our country and many others from being able to address it effectively in time.”
House Democrats’ vote against transparency comes just days after the World Health Organization urged China to cooperate with their second inquiry into the virus’s origins, citing previous difficulty working with the communist regime when China refused to share raw patient data with the WHO during the first round of investigations.