President Joe Biden signed a pair of bills into law on Monday that would declassify information related to the origins of the coronavirus and overturn the controversial Washington, DC, soft-on-crime bill.
The Covid-19 Origin Act, introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), unanimously passed both chambers of Congress.
The bill directs the Director of National Intelligence to “declassify any and all information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin” of the coronavirus.
Hawley introduced the legislation after the Department of Energy concluded, with “low confidence,” that the coronavirus could have originated from a Chinese laboratory.
Biden acknowledged the need to “get to the bottom” of the coronavirus’ origins in a statement on Monday.
“We need to get to the bottom of COVID-19’s origins to help ensure we can better prevent future pandemics,” Biden said in a statement. “My Administration will continue to review all classified information relating to COVID–19’s origins, including potential links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“In implementing this legislation, my Administration will declassify and share as much of that information as possible, consistent with my constitutional authority to protect against the disclosure of information that would harm national security,” Biden added.
On the same day, Biden signed a Republican-led effort to overturn D.C.’s crime bill. That crime bill reduced penalties for several violent offenses like carjacking, burglary, and robbery.
Although D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) vetoed the bill, the D.C. Council overrode the mayor’s veto by a 12-1 vote last month.
However, Congress can override local D.C. laws through a rarely used resolution of disapproval. Biden alienated members of his party when he signaled support for the GOP-led effort to overturn the crime bill.
“I support D.C. statehood and home-rule — but I don’t support some of the changes D.C. Council put forward over the mayor’s objections — such as lowering penalties for carjackings,” the president tweeted on March 2. “If the Senate votes to overturn what D.C. Council did — I’ll sign it.”
Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.