A new report from a whistleblower to Congress says that the CIA paid six officers who were looking into the sources of COVID-19 to keep quiet about their finding that the virus probably came from a Chinese lab.
The anonymous “very highly credible top-level CIA” official claimed that a team of six members of the government agency tasked with tracing the origins of SARS-CoV-2, who possess “significant scientific expertise,” concluded that the virus most likely started in a Wuhan laboratory. These allegations were made this week by the U.S. House of Representatives on the Subcommittee regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic and Special Committee on Intelligence.
Republicans Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) along with Mike Turner (R-OH), who chairs the House panel, wrote that “six out of the seven members of their team concluded after their review that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that COVID-19 started in a lab in Wuhan, China.”
But after the officers finished their work, the CIA tipster said in a letter sent this week to the Central Intelligence Director William Burns that the spy agency paid six out of the seven experts who participated in the investigation to make changes to their story about the virus.
The letter went on to say, “The seventh member from the Team, who also held the position of the more experienced was the only officer who thought COVID-19 came from animals. The whistleblower also says that the remaining six members were provided with a lot of money to change their minds so that the final public decision of uncertainty could be made.”
Separately, the committee wrote to Andrew Markridis, the former chief operational officer of the CIA, asking him to take part in a “voluntary transcribed questioning” on Sept. 26, 2023. The person who told on Markridis said that he “played a central role” in starting and ending the COVID probe.
Markridis left the agency in 2022, when the agency’s reaction to COVID was done.
A deadline was also set by lawmakers for the CIA to provide all documents pertaining to the formation of the COVID Discovery Teams, compensation history, which includes any financial matters or performance-based incentives or bonuses awarded, and correspondence from those teams regarding all the government agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Dept., HHS, and Energy Dept.
Early this year, the Department of Energy as well as the FBI were among the first government agencies to say with some certainty that the pandemic was most likely caused by an accident in a lab in Wuhan.
June saw the declassification by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence of a long-awaited report regarding possible connections between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the genesis of COVID. Three lab employees fell ill in 2019, but the study concluded that the symptoms they experienced were “in line with though not diagnostic of COVID-19,” meaning they could not be clearly connected to the pandemic’s cause.
As to the study, “The I.C. does not possess any data suggesting that any genetic engineering research conducted by the Wuhan Institute of Virology included SARS-CoV-2, its closest progenitor, or even a backbone virus that is sufficiently related in order to have been the origin of the pandemic.”
However, in April, John Ratcliffe, who used to serve as the Director of National Intelligence, told Congress that “a lab breach is the only possible explanation that makes sense based on our intelligence, scientific research, as well as common sense.”
“If our information and proof for a lab leak were compared with our information and proof for natural origins or even a spillover hypothesis, the laboratory leak side in the ledger would prove to be lengthy, compelling, and perhaps even overwhelming, whereas the spillover side would be almost empty and flimsy,” Ratcliffe continued.