There’s a shocking development in the COVID origins saga. A CIA whistleblower is alleging that the agency offered “significant monetary incentives” to a team of agents investigating the origins of COVID-19 to change their final determination that a lab leak was responsible for the pandemic.
The allegations are contained in a letter written to the CIA by House Coronavirus Subcommittee Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio).
The whistleblower is described as a “multi-decade, senior-level, current Agency officer. He told Congress that the CIA assigned seven officers to a “COVID Discovery team,” which consisted of “multi-disciplinary and experienced officers with significant scientific expertise.”
“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 seventh member of the Team, who also happened to be the most senior, was the one 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 added.
In June, when a declassified summary of what intelligence agencies believed about COVID’s origins, the CIA said it was “unable to determine the precise origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The lawmakers set a deadline of Sept. 26, 2023, for the CIA to turn over all records regarding the establishment of the COVID Discovery Teams; records regarding communications from those teams; all documents and records involving CIA communications with all members of federal government agencies including the FBI, State Department, Health and Human Services, Energy Department and more.
The lawmakers are also asking for documents and communications regarding “the pay history, to include the awarding of any type of financial or performance-based incentive/financial bonus to members of all iterations of the COVID Discovery Teams.”
The agency assessed the conclusion that a lab leak in Wuhan led to the pandemic with “low confidence.” Intel agencies define “low confidence” in an assessment as “questionable or implausible information was used, the information is too fragmented or poorly corroborated to make solid analytic inferences or significant concerns or problems with sources existed.”
“Low confidence” is a step above “unable to determine.” But politically, the difference is huge. Clearly, the agency realized this, which explains the bribes to other team members.
Wenstrup and Turner wrote in a separate letter to the former chief operating officer at the CIA, Andrew Makridis, saying that the whistleblower suggested he “played a central role in its formation and eventual conclusion that the CIA was unable to determine” the origins of COVID-19.”
Wenstrup and Turner requested Makridis participate in a “voluntary transcribed interview on Sept. 26, 2023.”
Layer after layer of what any reasonable person can conclude was a cover-up by the United States government is being peeled away. We can speculate that the cover-up is to protect high-ranking officials who funded dangerous experiments at the Wuhan lab that ended up tragically going sideways. But, in truth, we’re not sure. Nor are we sure how far the cover-up goes, who was involved, or whether the cover-up involved criminal activity.