Washington DC, September 13: A senior-level CIA officer has alleged that the Central Intelligence Agency offered to pay off analysts to suppress their findings that COVID-19 likely originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. The whistleblower's testimony was presented to Congress, claiming that the CIA attempted to incentivise six analysts to change their position and assert that the virus had crossed from animals to humans. The allegations have raised serious concerns about the integrity of the investigation into the virus's origins.

According to multiple reports, the whistleblower, whose identity remains undisclosed, revealed that six out of seven members of the CIA's COVID Discovery Team believed that the intelligence and scientific evidence supported a low-confidence assessment that COVID-19 had originated in a Wuhan laboratory. However, the most senior member of the team dissented, favouring the theory of zoonotic transmission. The House panel chairmen, Brad Westrup and Mike Turner sent a letter to CIA Director William Burns requesting all documents, communications, and payment details related to the CIA's COVID Discovery Team. David Grusch on Alien and UFO Sighting: Former US Intelligence Agent Claims Aliens Exist, American Officials Recovered Non-Human Aircraft With Non-Human Biological Remains (Watch Videos).

The whistleblower contends that the six analysts who shared the lab leak theory were offered a significant financial incentive to change their stance. Notably, these analysts were experienced officers with substantial scientific expertise. The House committee leaders have also sought documents and communications between the CIA and various federal agencies, including the State Department, the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Energy Department. US Ship Fire Video: Ship Engulfs in Blaze at Port Newark in New Jersey, Multiple Firefighters Missing.

Furthermore, they have identified former CIA Chief Operating Officer Andrew Makridis as having played a central role in the COVID investigation and have requested his participation in a transcribed interview. The allegations have raised concerns about the integrity and transparency of the investigation into the origins of COVID-19. The FBI was the first US intelligence agency to suggest that the pandemic likely originated from a lab leak, followed by the Energy Department, which reached a similar conclusion based on new intelligence.

The US intelligence community declassified a 10-page report on COVID origins in June, acknowledging "biosafety concerns" and "genetic engineering" activities at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. However, most agencies assessed that SARS-CoV-2 was not genetically engineered. The CIA and another intelligence agency remained unable to definitively determine the pandemic's precise origin, citing challenges and conflicting reports. Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, however, has expressed a different perspective.

Ratcliffe stated that the "lab leak theory" was the "only" credible explanation for the pandemic, supported by intelligence, scientific evidence, and common sense. The allegations surrounding the CIA's actions underscore the need for transparency and credibility in the ongoing investigations into COVID-19's origin, which has had a profound impact on global health and society. The CIA has responded by stating that they do not pay analysts to reach specific conclusions and are looking into the allegations, promising to keep Congressional oversight committees informed. Andrew Makridis, the former CIA chief operating officer mentioned in the investigation, has not yet commented on the allegations.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 13, 2023 02:54 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).