CIA Officers Paid to Change Their Position on Origins of COVID-19: Whistleblower

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
September 12, 2023COVID-19
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CIA Officers Paid to Change Their Position on Origins of COVID-19: Whistleblower
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) seal is displayed in the lobby of CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va., on Aug. 14, 2008. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Six CIA officers were paid to change their position on the origins of COVID-19, according to new whistleblower testimony.

A current CIA senior officer told the U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic that a CIA team of seven personnel analyzed the origins of COVID-19. Six of the members believed, based on the available evidence, that they could say with low confidence that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, where the first COVID-19 cases appeared.

The seventh and most senior member of the team thought COVID-19 came from animals.

“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,” Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), chairman of the panel, and Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told CIA Director William Burns in a letter on Sept. 12.

“These allegations, from a seemingly credible source, requires the Committees to conduct further oversight of how the CIA handled its internal investigation into the origins of COVID-19,” they said.

The CIA was asked to provide all documents from the CIA team that analyzed the origins of COVID-19, including communications among members regarding the analysis. Mr. Wenstrup and Mr. Turner also requested documents showing the pay history of the seven members.

“At CIA we are committed to the highest standards of analytic rigor, integrity, and objectivity. We do not pay analysts to reach specific conclusions,” a CIA spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email. “We take these allegations extremely seriously and are looking into them. We will keep our Congressional oversight committees appropriately informed.”

Another Letter

In another missive, the lawmakers asked Andrew Makridis, until late 2022 the CIA’s chief operating officer, to sit and answer questions.

“The whistleblower pointed the Committees to a CIA led COVID Discovery Team(s) in which you played a central role in its formation and eventual conclusion that the CIA was ‘unable to determine’ the origins of COVID-19,” they told Mr. Makridis.

Mr. Makridis, now with Beacon Global Strategies, should participate in a voluntary interview on Sept. 26, the letter said.

The lawmakers suggested that a subpoena might be issued if Mr. Makridis declines to appear.

Intelligence Report

The CIA and other intelligence agencies each offered an assessment of the origins of COVID-19.

A declassified report said that all of the agencies “continue to assess that both a natural and laboratory-associated origin remain plausible hypotheses to explain the first human infection,” though a majority of the agencies believe the virus originated in animals.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the FBI say evidence indicates the virus originated in the Wuhan lab, where testing—some U.S.-funded—of coronaviruses has been taking place for years.

Two agencies, including the CIA, “remain unable to determine the precise origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, as both hypotheses rely on significant assumptions or face challenges with conflicting reporting,” the report stated.

It also said that none of the agencies think COVID-19 was developed as a biological weapon.

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Congress in April that the CIA’s stance was “unjustifiable, and a reflection not that the agency can’t make an assessment with any confidence, but that it won’t.”

New Bill

The report was just 10 pages and was released in response to a bill passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden.

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) on Sept. 11 introduced new legislation that would compel the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release records on the COVID-19 origins.

“Every American deserves to know the truth about the origins of Covid-19, China’s involvement, and the ongoing cover-up,” Mr. Marshall said in a statement. “Yet, here we are after YEARS of asking for the Biden Administration to provide this much-needed transparency and they continue to stonewall our investigations and find ‘work arounds’ to dodge our requests.”

He added: “Every American should be asking, ‘Why is that?’ Our legislation requires the HHS to publicly release all agency records related to the origin of COVID-19, the cover-up of the pandemic origins, and coronavirus research, including vaccine development. It’s past time for answers—this is a matter of national security.”

The HHS includes the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funded some of the research conducted at the Wuhan lab.

Influenced

The NIH exerted “undue influence” in downplaying the idea that COVID-19 originated from the lab, a House report released over the summer said.

Dr. Francis Collins and Dr. Anthony Fauci, two top NIH officials, helped draft a paper that claimed to rule out the possibility of a lab origin.

Neither were listed as co-authors or thanked as contributors.

“After publication, Proximal Origin was used to downplay the lab leak hypothesis and call those who believe it may be true conspiracy theorists. Dr. Fauci and Dr. Collins tracked the paper through the review and publication process. And finally, Dr. Collins expressed dismay when Proximal Origin did not successfully kill the lab leak theory. He subsequently asked Dr. Fauci if there was anything more they could do. The next day, Dr. Fauci directly cited Proximal Origin from the White House podium,” the report stated.

Other records showed authors of the study were concerned that the virus may have come from the lab.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a comment from the CIA.

From The Epoch Times

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