WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), along with 18 fellow senators, escalated their inquiry into the CIA’s investigation of COVID-19’s origins, demanding answers from CIA Director William J. Burns concerning whistleblower allegations.
The whistleblower, described as a senior CIA officer with decades of service, reportedly disclosed to both the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that a CIA team predominantly supported the lab-leak theory.
Last week I led a follow-up letter requesting info on whistleblower allegations concerning the COVID origins investigation. The CIA has an obligation to be responsive to congressional oversight requests by ALL members of the Senate… Read more: https://t.co/zb6ArxKx7w pic.twitter.com/tNK07AfZ0U
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) January 30, 2024
According to the whistleblower’s account, six out of seven members of the CIA’s COVID Discovery Team concluded with low confidence that COVID-19 may have originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. This contrasts sharply with the seventh and most senior member’s belief in a zoonotic origin.
These revelations prompt significant questions regarding the CIA’s stance, especially given the June 2023 Office of the Director of National Intelligence report, which stated the CIA could not definitively determine COVID-19’s origins.
We deserve answers from the CIA on whistleblower allegations that they offered to pay off analysts to change their positions on the COVID-19 lab leak theory. I'm doing everything I can to hold them accountable. https://t.co/LLL1cZcBOF
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 26, 2024
The senators’ letter to Burns reiterates requests for comprehensive documentation and communication relating to the COVID Discovery Team’s formation, discussions, and conclusions, including any inter-agency communications. This move underscores the Senate’s role in oversight and the demand for transparency from intelligence agencies concerning pivotal public health inquiries.
In September, the senators initially sought information to assess the whistleblower’s claims, only to receive a non-committal response from the CIA indicating engagement with intelligence committees but failing to provide the requested details.
The bipartisan group led by Paul underscores the urgency for clarity and accountability from the CIA, reflecting broader concerns over the pandemic’s origins and the necessity for governmental transparency. The senators insist on receiving the requested information to fulfill their oversight responsibilities and address the public’s lingering questions about the pandemic’s inception.