A Republican congressman has claimed that Dr. Anthony Fauci was invited to CIA headquarters to participate in the agency's probe into the origins of t
Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, who chairs the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, made the claim in a letter on Tuesday to the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General.
‘According to information gathered by the Select Subcommittee, Dr. Anthony Fauci, then-director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, played a role in the Central Intelligence Agency’s review of the origins of COVID-19,’ wrote Wenstrup.
‘The information provided suggests that Dr. Fauci was escorted into Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Headquarters—without a record of entry—and participated in the analysis to ‘influence’ the Agency’s review,’ he added.
The letter does not specify the source of the information, the date of Fauci’s alleged CIA visit, or the nature of his purported advice or influence on the CIA probe.
A Republican congressman has claimed that Dr. Anthony Fauci was invited to CIA headquarters to participate in the agency’s probe into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic
A spokesperson for Wenstrup declined to offer additional details to DailyMail.com, and the CIA and NIAID did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday morning.
Ever since SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID, first began spreading in Wuhan, China in late 2019, investigators around the world have been trying to definitively determine its origin.
The two central theories are a natural spread from animals to humans through close contact, or a laboratory leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which studies similar viruses.
Fauci’s public remarks, particularly early in the pandemic, tended to strongly downplay the lab leak theory, though he stated last November that he has ‘a completely open mind’ on the question.
The CIA ultimately refused to make an assessment on COVID’s origins, even with low confidence, in a report declassified in June of this year.
‘Both hypotheses rely on significant assumptions or face challenges with conflicting reporting,’ according to the agency.
Other intelligence agencies were split on the origins question, with some favoring natural spread and others a lab leak. But all agreed that SARS-CoV-2 was not developed as an intentional biological weapon.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (above) of Ohio, who chairs the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, made the claim in a letter on Tuesday to the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General
In his letter, Wenstrup asked HHS to hand over any documents or communications related to Fauci’s access to CIA facilities and CIA employees.
He also requested an interview with HHS-OIG Special Agent Brett Rowland, who was involved with Fauci’s personal protection detail when he was NIAID director.
Fauci retired from NIAID in December, after leading the agency since 1984. He was considered the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and it would not be unusual or unethical for the intelligence community to seek his input on COVID matters.
But in a statement, Wenstrup’s subcommittee called Fauci’s purported contact with the CIA ‘questionable’ and said that it ‘lends credence to heightened concerns about the promotion of a false COVID-19 origins narrative by multiple federal government agencies.’
The Republican-led COVID subcommittee has been tasked with investigating the origins of COVID-19, gain-of-function research, coronavirus-related government spending, and mask and vaccine mandates.
Earlier this month, the subcommittee cited an unnamed CIA whistleblower as testifying that the agency bribed its own analysts to say COVID-19 did not originate in the Wuhan lab.
In a letter to CIA Director William J. Burns, Wenstrup and Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner, also an Ohio Republican, cited the testimony of a ‘multi-decade, senior-level, current Agency officer.’
The CIA ultimately refused to make an assessment on COVID’s origins, even with low confidence, in a report declassified in June of this year
The officer, who was not named, said that the CIA offered a ‘significant monetary incentive’ to members of a Covid Discovery Team to influence their findings.
The person said that six members of the seven-person team originally believed a lab leak was likely, but were persuaded to change their views. The seventh member assessed natural spread was more likely.
The CIA denied engaging in bribery and said it would investigate the allegations.
‘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. We will keep our Congressional oversight committees appropriately informed,’ CIA director of public affairs Tammy Kupperman Thorp said in a statement.
Turner and Wenstrup set a September 26 deadline for the CIA to turn over all records involving the COVID Discovery Team and all communications with the FBI, State Department, Health and Human Services and Energy Department about the matter.
They threatened to slap the agencies with subpoenas if they do not comply. It was not immediately clear as of Wednesday whether the documents had been provided.