DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, told The Iowa Torch during a press call on Thursday that it is time to get to the bottom of the origin of COVID-19.
The Iowa Torch asked her response to the Senate on Wednesday unanimously passing S. 1867, the “COVID-19 Origin Act of 2021,” a bill that requires the Director of National Intelligence to declassify information about the origin of COVID-19. Specifically, the legislation requires the declassification of links between the coronavirus and the Wuhan Insitute of Virology, including activities the institute did with or on behalf of China’s People’s Liberation Army.
The first cases of COVID-19 were in Wuhan, China, close to the institute. Early in the pandemic, public health officials and the national media dismissed the Wuhan Institute of Virology as a potential source. Instead, it promoted a theory that it was first transmitted in a local wet market.
“I’m excited to hear that we’re moving forward on finding out what the origin of the virus is. It destroyed our economy, it killed millions of people around the world, and we’re going to feel the impacts of this pandemic for years to come. And so, I do think we need to get to the bottom of it. It’s unfortunate that it’s taken this long to start asking those questions,” Hinson said.
“I think there probably were some politics involved with why the narrative was what it was. But I again would like to say that I support moving forward and getting answers to those questions. Specifically when it comes to the role China played. I think we all know China is a bad actor. And we need to get to the bottom of what happened so we can prevent it from happening in the future,” she added.
President Joe Biden acknowledged in a statement on Wednesday that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is seen as a potential source and ordered the intelligence community to “redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion.”
He asked for a report within 90 days, the intelligence that the Senate voted to have declassified. The U.S. House of Representatives will need to pass, and President Biden will have to sign the bill to become law.
Listen to the full press call: