Biden delays release of JFK assassination records, blaming COVID-19 pandemic

Kennedy was killed while riding in a motorcade in Dallas Nov. 22, 1963

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The U.S. will "unfortunately" continue to delay the public release of records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and officials say the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame.

The move was announced in a memo signed by President Biden and released by the White House Friday.

President Joe Biden puts his mask back on as he walks back to the Oval Office after speaking to the 2020 and 2021 State and National Teacher of the Year recipients during an event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Joe Biden puts his mask back on as he walks back to the Oval Office after speaking to the 2020 and 2021 State and National Teacher of the Year recipients during an event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

"Temporary continued postponement is necessary to protect against identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure," Biden wrote.

In 1992, Congress ruled that "all Government records concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy … should be eventually disclosed to enable the public to become fully informed about the history surrounding the assassination." 

John F. Kennedy waves from his car during the motorcade in Dallas before he was shot and killed.

John F. Kennedy waves from his car during the motorcade in Dallas before he was shot and killed. (AP)

The act allowed the government to postpone the release to "protect against an identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement or the conduct of foreign relations," according to Biden's memo.

This year, the National Archives and Records Administration ruled that "unfortunately, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the agencies," and NARA needed additional time to research the material and "maximize the amount of information released," the memo said.

The most sensitive information will now be released in December 2022, and material that has already been deemed "appropriate for release to the public," will be dumped on Dec. 15 of this year.

DEATH OF A PRESIDENT: LOOKING BACK ON THE ASSASSINATION OF JOHN F. KENNEDY

Some 250,000 records have already been released, but the public cannot view them unless they drive to NARA’s College Park, Maryland headquarters, the memo said.

Under the new order, all records would be digitized.

Kennedy was killed while riding in a motorcade in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

FILE - In this Nov. 22, 1963, file photo, seen through the foreground convertible's windshield, President John F. Kennedy's hand reaches toward his head within seconds of being fatally shot as first lady Jacqueline Kennedy holds his forearm as the motorcade proceeds along Elm Street past the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas. It has been 55 years since the trauma emergency room at Dallas' Parkland Memorial Hospital became the center of the known universe. Retired Tulsa surgeon Dr. Jerry Gustafson was among the small staff of doctors and others on duty at Parkland on that day. (AP Photo/James W. "Ike" Altgens, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 22, 1963, file photo, seen through the foreground convertible's windshield, President John F. Kennedy's hand reaches toward his head within seconds of being fatally shot as first lady Jacqueline Kennedy holds his forearm as the motorcade proceeds along Elm Street past the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas. It has been 55 years since the trauma emergency room at Dallas' Parkland Memorial Hospital became the center of the known universe. Retired Tulsa surgeon Dr. Jerry Gustafson was among the small staff of doctors and others on duty at Parkland on that day. (AP Photo/James W. "Ike" Altgens, File)

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Former Marine Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the murder but was shot two days later on live television by nightclub owner Jack Ruby, who died in 1967.

The enigmatic case continues to spawn countless books, theories and debates.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post