The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) offered to pay analysts to change their findings from COVID-19 leaking from a lab to natural origins, House committee leaders allege.
“New testimony from a highly credible whistleblower alleges CIA rewarded six analysts with significant financial incentives to change their COVID-19 origins conclusion from a lab-leak to zoonosis,” the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic wrote.
New testimony from a highly credible whistleblower alleges @CIA rewarded six analysts with significant financial incentives to change their COVID-19 origins conclusion from a lab-leak to zoonosis. pic.twitter.com/KIemfi2Wgl
— Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic (@COVIDSelect) September 12, 2023
“According to the whistleblower, the Agency assigned seven officers to a COVID Discover Team (Team). The Team consisted of multi-disciplinary and experienced officers with significant scientific expertise. According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed the intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” the committee wrote in a letter to CIA Director William J. Burns.
“The whistleblower further contends that to come to the eventual public determination of uncertainty, the other six members were given a significant monetary incentive to change their position.”
The committee wrote a separate letter to former CIA Chief Operating Officer Andrew Makridis, who allegedly played a “central role” in the CIA’s COVID-19 origins investigation.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 12, 2023
The New York Post reports:
Wenstrup and Turner also asked for documents and communications between the CIA and other federal agencies, including the State Department, the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Energy Department.
In a separate letter, the House committee leaders identified former CIA chief operating officer Andrew Makridis as having “played a central role” in the COVID investigation and asked him to sit for a transcribed interview.
“At CIA we are committed to the highest standards of analytic rigor, integrity, and objectivity. We do not pay analysts to reach specific conclusions,” CIA Director of Public Affairs Tammy Kupperman Thorp told The Post in a statement. “We take these allegations extremely seriously and are looking into them. We will keep our Congressional oversight committees appropriately informed.”
Makridis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The FBI was the first US intelligence agency to conclude the COVID-19 pandemic most likely originated with a lab leak. In February, the Energy Department also concluded a lab leak was likely, based on new intelligence.
The US intelligence community declassified its 10-page report on COVID origins in June, which found “biosafety concerns” and “genetic engineering” taking place at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but most of its “agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not genetically engineered.”
BREAKING: Explosive new whistleblower testimony from a "senior-level CIA officer" to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic alleges the CIA tried to pay off 6 different scientific analysts if they were willing to CHANGE their positions and BURY findings that… pic.twitter.com/qkEo7BRGUn
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) September 12, 2023
The House Oversight Committee stated in a press release:
Staff on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have heard testimony from a whistleblower alleging that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) offered six analysts significant monetary incentives to change their position on COVID-19’s origin. The whistleblower, who presents as a highly credible senior-level CIA officer, alleges that of the seven members assigned to the CIA team tasked with analyzing COVID-19 origins, six officers concluded that the virus likely originated from a lab in Wuhan, China. The CIA, then however, allegedly offered financial incentives to six of the experts involved in the investigation to change their conclusion in favor of a zoonotic origin.Advertisement
Chairman Wenstrup and Chairman Turner are requesting that all documents and communications related to the CIA’s COVID-19 origins review be made immediately available to the Committees. The Chairmen additionally request that former CIA COO Andrew Makridis appear for a voluntary transcribed interview on September 26, 2023. Any improper influence exerted by the CIA will be investigated to ensure accountability from the intelligence community.