The House Coronavirus Subcommittee has received testimony from a CIA whistleblower who is alleging that the agency was offering officials a “significant monetary incentive” to change their positions on the origin of COVID-19.
The whistleblower told members of Congress, in a closed-door meeting, that the offers were made to members of the CIA’s team investigating the origins of COVID-19, asking them to change their belief that the virus came from the Wuhan lab to “unable to determine” the origins, according to a House statement.
A report from Fox News cited letters that the subcommittee’s chairman, Brad Wenstrup, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Mike Turner, sent to the CIA and a former official.
“The Select Committee on the Coronavirus Pandemic and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have received new and concerning whistleblower testimony regarding the Agency’s investigation into the origins of COVID-19,” Wenstrup and Turner wrote to CIA Director William Burns Tuesday.
The informant, described by the congressmen as a “multi-decade, senior-level, current Agency officer,” came forward with the information.
The CIA officer told Congress that the agency had assigned seven officers to a COVID Discovery Team with the purpose of understanding how the virus originated.
“According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed that intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” Wenstrup and Turner wrote.
The two went on to write that the seventh member thought the virus 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.
Wenstrup and Turner are now calling on their respective committees to conduct further investigations and oversight into “how the CIA handled its internal investigation into the origins of COVID-19.”
The CIA has denied the allegations to several news sources.
“At CIA, we are committed to the highest standards of analytic rigor, integrity, and objectivity. We do not pay analysts to reach specific conclusions. We take these allegations extremely seriously and are looking into them,” CIA spokesperson Tammy Kupperman Thorp shared with The New York Post. “We will keep our Congressional oversight committees appropriately informed.”