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Wenstrup, in a letter to Inspector General Christi Grimm at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said he had information suggesting Fauci was “escorted” into CIA headquarters “without a record of entry.”
Wenstrup is chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. A subcommittee spokesperson told the Daily Mail the committee “has received information from multiple sources across multiple agencies regarding Dr. Fauci’s movements to and from the CIA.”
Neither Wenstrup nor any subcommittee member or spokesperson identified specific date(s) Fauci is alleged to have visited the agency.
Tuesday’s press release from the Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability, which is overseeing the subcommittee’s investigation, called attention to allegations by six CIA whistleblowers that they received “significant financial incentives” to change their stance that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China.
In light of evidence uncovered earlier this year establishing Fauci’s involvement in the “Proximal Origin” paper claiming to disprove the lab leak theory, the subcommittee said it found Fauci’s presence at the CIA “questionable,” alleging it “lends credence to heightened concerns about the promotion of a false COVID-19 origins narrative by multiple federal government agencies.”
Wenstrup asked Grimm to send the subcommittee by no later than Oct. 10 any documents and communications related to Fauci’s movements between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2022, into any facilities owned, operated or occupied by the CIA.
Wenstrup also requested the pay and bonus history of all past and current members of HHS’ “COVID Discovery Team(s)” and information about staff and contractors at HHS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the U.S. Marshals Service who may have been involved.
Wenstrup did not reveal the source of the information on Fauci’s CIA visit, but the letter mentioned HHS’ Special Agent Brett Rowland, requesting Grimm make him available for a “voluntary transcribed interview.”
CIA whistleblower and intelligence community reports on COVID origins
A joint letter from the subcommittee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio), sent Sept. 12 to CIA Director William Burns, outlined the testimony of a “multi-decade, senior-level, current agency officer” alleging six of the seven analysts investigating the COVID-19 origins were given a “significant monetary incentive to change their position.”
According to the unidentified whistleblower — a decorated and long-serving CIA officer with expertise in Asia, according to the Substack Public — the six analysts, all with significant scientific expertise, were paid off in order to bury their findings that COVID-19 most likely originated from the Wuhan lab.
The seventh and most senior member of the team was alone in believing the virus had a zoonotic origin, the letter stated.
The CIA whistleblower said, “Fauci’s expert opinions were a significant consideration and were part of our classified assessment … His opinion substantially altered the conclusions that were subsequently drawn,” Public reported today.
“He came multiple times and he was treated like a rockstar by the Weapons and Counter-Proliferation Mission Center. And, he pushed the Kristian Anderson [‘Proximal Origin’] paper,” the whistleblower added.
In a separate letter, the subcommittee also requested Andrew Makridis, former COO at the CIA who was known to have taken part in the investigations, participate in an interview.
Democrats from both committees told ABC News they “were given no prior notice of a whistleblower’s existence, let alone testimony. Without further information regarding this claim from the Majority, we have no ability to assess the allegations at this time.”
CIA Director of Public Affairs Tammy Kupperman Thorp told the New York Post, “At CIA we are committed to the highest standards of analytic rigor, integrity and objectivity. We do not pay analysts to reach specific conclusions. We take these allegations extremely seriously and are looking into them.”
In June, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) declassified a 10-page report on its investigation into the links between the Wuhan lab and COVID-19. In the report, the ODNI admitted the lab performed genetic engineering of coronaviruses, that people working at the lab got sick in December 2019 “consistent with but not diagnostic of COVID-19,” and that they found a lack of “adequate biosafety precautions.”
However, the ODNI report stated the CIA remained “unable to determine the precise origin of the COVID-19 pandemic,“ but that “almost all IC [intelligence community] agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not genetically engineered” and that “all IC agencies” determined the virus “was not developed as a biological weapon.”
In February, the U.S. Department of Energy issued a “low confidence” assessment that the virus most likely originated from the leak at the Wuhan lab.
Several days later, FBI Director Christopher Ray, during an interview with Fox News, said the bureau believed the pandemic was likely the result of a lab accident in Wuhan.
‘Proximal Origin’ lab-leak-denying paper linked to Fauci
Fauci’s alleged visit to the CIA is the latest data point in a growing body of evidence gathered by the subcommittee investigating the pandemic showing the former NIAID director played a central role in directing and influencing the official COVID-19 origin narrative, chiefly by suppressing the lab leak theory.
Tuesday’s announcement included a link to the subcommittee’s July report, “The Proximal Origin of a Cover-Up: Did the ‘Bethesda Boys’ Downplay a Lab Leak?”
In the “Proximal Origin” paper, prompted by Fauci in early 2021 and written by Kristian Anderson, Ph.D., professor of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research, Anderson and his co-authors argued the virus was not laboratory-made or purposefully manipulated, and that the lab leak scenario was implausible.
The subcommittee report stated the “Proximal Origin” paper has been accessed 5.84 million times and was “one of the single most impactful and influential scientific papers in history” that was used to “downplay the lab leak hypothesis and call those who believe it may be true conspiracy theorists.”
The report further alleged Fauci was aware of the monetary relationship between NIAID, EcoHealth Alliance, and WIV, and that he funded gain-of-function research on coronaviruses at the WIV.
After reviewing more than 8,000 pages of documents and 25 hours of testimony, the subcommittee concluded that “‘Proximal Origin’ employed fatally flawed science to achieve its goal … to kill the lab leak theory.”
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Children’s Health Defense’s chairman on leave, explores Fauci’s longtime involvement in gain-of-function research in his new book, “The Wuhan Cover-up: And the Terrifying Bioweapons Arms Race,” due for release Nov. 14.