CIA ‘tried to pay experts to hide COVID lab leak findings’ – bombshell whistelblower claim | US | News

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The CIA allegedly tried to pay off analysts who determined that COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan lab, a bombshell whistleblower testimony has claimed.

Six analysts who reportedly determined that SARS-CoV-2 was most likely created in a Chinese lab were offered money by the CIA to change their position, a letter sent to CIA Director William Burns has alleged.

The agency allegedly promised them cash under the condition that they switched stances to the zoonotic origin theory – meaning it initially jumped from animals to humans and did not come from a lab.

A senior-level CIA officer presented the damning allegation to House committee leaders this week. 

Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner wrote to the CIA director to reveal the claims.

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The CIA allegedly tried to pay off analysts who determined Covid originated in a Wuhan lab (Image: GETTY )

The letter read: “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 seventh member of the Team, who also happened to be the most senior, was the lone officer to believe COVID-19 originated through zoonosis.

“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,” they said, noting that the analysts were “experienced officers with significant scientific expertise.”

The committee has ordered all documents, communications and pay information from the CIA’s COVID Discovery Team to be delivered by September 26.

CIA Director William Burns

CIA Director William Burns (Image: GETTY)

In a separate letter, the committee leaders claimed that former CIA chief operating officer Andrew Makridis “played a central role” in the agency’s coronavirus investigation and has requested a sit-down interview with him.

The committee chairmen have also asked to see the chain of communications between the CIA and other federal agencies.

Those include the State Department, the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Energy Department.

The FBI determined in March that the COVID-19 pandemic most likely started from a lab leak after assessing intelligence. This made it the first state agency to make this conclusion.


The US Department of Energy followed, ruling that it believed with “low confidence” that the COVID-19 lab leak explanation was “most likely”.

However, four other US agencies still think the virus was more likely to have come from a natural, zoonotic transmission. This means jumping from animals to humans, which they believe happened at a Wuhan wet market.

Two other agencies, including the CIA, have yet to cast their verdict.

A 300-page Senate report in April found that the dominant theory that the virus jumped from animals to humans is no longer deserving of a “presumption of accuracy”.

The report, released in full by Axios, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic was, more likely than not, the result of a research-related incident.”

But the report added that “new information, made publicly available and independently verifiable, could change this assessment”.

Matt Ridley, co-author of Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19, told Daily Express US back in May that many scientists fear going public about holding the view that the virus came from a Chinese laboratory – the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

He said: “There is a huge problem emerging which is that scientists in the West were not being honest with the public in 2020 about what they thought was likely or possible.

“The conflict of interest among a few Western virologists are pretty extreme.”

Meanwhile, this is not helped by the Chinese regime, which Mr Ridley said is still withholding the “identity and characteristics of the first cases and the dates” of the virus.

He said: “Who were the first cases? Where did they live? What were their professions? Were they scientists or people working in the market? That kind of information undoubtedly exists and has not been shared.”

Daily Express US has approached the CIA for comment.

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