CIA tried to pay analysts to bury COVID lab leak results: source

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The Central Intelligence Agency tried to pay analysts to cover up their findings about the origins of COVID-19.

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An unnamed senior CIA officer testified before a select subcommittee on the coronavirus pandemic that analysts who discovered that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, originated in Wuhan, China, were offered hush money to change their findings. Instead, it said the virus was transmitted from animals to humans, according to a letter – to CIA Director Williams Burns – obtained by Fox News.

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“According to the whistleblower, at the end of his review, six of the seven members of the team believed the evidence and science was sufficient to make a low-certainty assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” said House panel chairs Brad Wenstrup and Mike Turner wrote.

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“The seventh member of the team, who also happened to be the oldest, was the only official who believed that COVID-19 was caused by zoonotic disease.

“The whistleblower further alleges that the other six members were given a significant financial incentive to change their position in order to ultimately result in a public finding of uncertainty,” they said, noting that the analysts were “experienced “Officials with significant scientific expertise” acted.

Wenstrup and Turner said the allegations came from “a seemingly credible source” and called for the committees to continue monitoring “how the CIA handled its internal investigation into the origins of COVID-19.”


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The CIA denied the allegations, telling Fox: “At the CIA, we are committed to the highest standards of analytical rigor, integrity and objectivity. We don’t pay analysts to come to concrete conclusions.”

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Multiple intelligence agencies, including the National Intelligence Council, believe contact with a wild animal was the cause, while the FBI and the U.S. Department of Energy say COVID-19 originated from a laboratory leak.

The report said the CIA and another unnamed agency reached no conclusion “because both hypotheses rely on significant assumptions or face challenges with conflicting reports,” Fox said.

But the entire intelligence community agrees that SARS-CoV-2 was “not designed as a biological weapon,” and “almost all” authorities have concluded that the coronavirus was not “genetically engineered.”

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