Testimony from a CIA whistleblower to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence alleges that the agency bribed six experts in order to change their position on COVID-19’s origin, according to a Tuesday House Oversight Committee press release.
The whistleblower, who presented themselves to the committees as a “highly credible senior-level CIA officer,” testified that six of the seven CIA officers assigned to a team tasked with analyzing the origins of COVID-19 concluded that the virus likely originated from a virology lab in Wuhan, China.
According to the whistleblower, the CIA then allegedly offered significant monetary incentives to six of the experts involved in the investigation in order to change their conclusion in favor of a “zoonotic origin” — that is, contact between animals and humans in a Chinese wet market.
Committee Chairmen Brad Wenstrup and Mike Turner, both Ohio Republicans, sent letters Tuesday to CIA Director William Burns and former CIA Chief Operating Officer Andrew Makridis, requesting all documents and communications related to the intelligence agency’s inquiry into COVID-19’s origin.
The Chairmen are also requesting that Makridis appear for a voluntary transcribed interview on Sept. 26 in order to ensure accountability for the agency’s alleged misconduct.
“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 Chairmen wrote.
“The seventh member of the Team, who also happened to be the most senior, was the lone officer to believe COVID-19 originated through zoonosis,” they continued. “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.”
Read Chairman Wenstrup and Chairman Turner’s letter to CIA Director William Burns here.
Read Chairman Wenstrup and Chairman Turner’s letter to former CIA COO Andrew Makridis here.