Washington, DC: A new whistleblower testimony has alleged that in a letter sent to the chief of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), William Burns on Tuesday, a senior CIA officer told House committee leaders that his agency tried to pay off six analysts who discovered SARS-CoV-2 likely originated in a Wuhan lab if they changed their position and said the virus jumped from animals to humans, New York Post reported.
According to fresh whistleblower testimony to Congress, the CIA offered to pay off analysts in order to suppress their findings that COVID-19 most certainly leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China.
Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Mike Turner (R-Ohio) demanded all papers, communications, and pay information from the CIA's COVID Discovery Team by September 26.
“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 House panel chairmen wrote, according to the New York Post.
"The whistleblower further contends that, in order to arrive at the eventual public determination of uncertainty, the other six members were given a significant monetary incentive to change their position," they said.
They further noted that the analysts were "experienced officers with significant scientific expertise."
According to New York Post, Wenstrup and Turner also requested papers and contacts between the CIA and other government agencies, such as the State Department, the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Energy.
Notably, the FBI was the first US intelligence agency to establish that the COVID-19 outbreak was most likely caused by a laboratory leak. Based on fresh information, the Energy Department assessed in February that a lab leak was plausible.
In June, the US intelligence community disclosed its 10-page assessment on the origins of COVID, which discovered "biosafety concerns" and "genetic engineering" at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, although most of its "agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not genetically engineered."
Several Wuhan lab scientists were ill in the autumn of 2019 with symptoms "consistent with but not diagnostic of Covid-19," according to the report.