On May 27, President Biden ordered intelligence officials to redouble their efforts to investigate the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. Within 90 days they will report their findings to the president. One origin theory posits that the virus emerged from human contact with an infected animal. Another origin theory posits that the virus accidentally leaked from a lab in Wuhan. Redoubling efforts to discover the origin of Covid-19 is in accord with justice.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor” (1807). There are several other virtues related to justice since they also deal with giving others their due including the virtues of religion, obedience and truthfulness. Truthfulness is the virtue by which a person gives another his just due regarding what is true. The Catechism continues: “Truthfulness keeps to the just mean between what ought to be expressed and what ought to be kept secret: it entails honesty and discretion” (2469). Hence, the truthful person both refrains from lying and refrains from giving out private or confidential information.
The Covid-19 pandemic affected the entire world. Nearly four million people have died throughout the world (nearly 600,000 deaths in the United States). Those affected are owed the truth. It is good that the Biden administration is pursuing this investigation to discover the origins of this virus and promote justice.