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US Rep. Carson: Americans deserve to see intel on COVID-19 origins

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — U.S. Rep. André Carson on Friday said he hoped a vote to declassify COVID-19 intelligence will help combat misinformation about the pandemic.

The U.S. House unanimously approved a bill to declassify U.S. intelligence information about the origins of COVID-19, sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk a little more than a week after the Senate also approved it without dissent. The bill specifically directs the director of national intelligence to declassify “any and all information” concerning potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and COVID-19, including pre-pandemic research on coronaviruses and any researchers who fell ill during the fall of 2019.

In an interview with News 8 for Sunday’s “All INdiana Politics,” the Democrat serving Indianapolis said releasing that information was the right thing to do. The pandemic “impacted many of us personally, and so that kind of information has to be brought out to the American people. A lot of small businesses had to close down. A lot of Hoosier businesses were impacted. Downtown Indy was impacted. So, the American people deserve some degree of transparency during this process.”

U.S. intelligence agencies have been divided over the so-called lab leak hypothesis since the pandemic began. A Department of Energy report made public late last month suggested the virus escaped from the Wuhan lab, though sources said confidence in that report was limited.

A report declassified in 2021 showed four intelligence agencies determined, albeit with low confidence, the virus jumped from animals to humans in the wild, while one agency concluded, with moderate confidence, the pandemic resulted from a lab accident.

Carson, who is the ranking member of the House subcommittee that oversees the CIA, would not say what his conclusions were on the lab leak hypothesis. He said nonstate actors are deliberately sowing misinformation online to breed distrust.

“My hope is that we can increase levels of transparency without demonizing any particular group of people, any race of people, in the process,” he said.

All INdiana Politics airs at 9:30 a.m. every Sunday on WISH-TV.