Republicans are stepping up their investigation into the origins of COVID, demanding that the Biden administration and other key players comply with their demands or face subpoenas.
Their intensifying investigation comes the same week a CIA whistleblower told Congress the agency bribed its own analysts to say COVID-19 did not come from a lab. Wuhan.
In a letter sent Thursday to HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra, obtained for the first time by DailyMail.com, the Republicans write that they “expect full and timely compliance” with their requests, which have remained unanswered since the launch of the investigation in February.
They are demanding documents between HHS, EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology – which received U.S. taxpayer-funded grants to study bat coronaviruses through risky gain-of-function research.
They also want details about a series of conference calls and communications between senior HHS officials and medical professionals, organizations and others regarding the origins of COVID.
Lawmakers also sent similar letters to people they say have “in-depth knowledge” of the origins of COVID, including Dr. Anthony Fauci’s former chief of staff Greg Folkers, the president of the EcoHealth Alliance, Dr. Peter Daszak, and Gray Handley, who was the liaison between the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chinese.
A CIA whistleblower recently told Congress that the agency bribed its own analysts to say Covid-19 did not come from a Wuhan lab, according to two Republicans.
They threaten to slap subpoenaed agencies and individuals if they do not comply.
The key Republican presidents who signed the letters Thursday are: Brad Wenstrup, James Comer, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Morgan Griffith and Brett Guthrie.
According to a former “senior-level” agency officer, the CIA assigned seven agents to a Covid discovery team.
At the end of their investigation, six of the seven people believed the intelligence indicated an unreliable assessment that Covid-19 originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
The seventh member, the oldest on the team, thought it evolved naturally. The other six then received “a significant financial incentive to change their position,” according to the whistleblower.
The CIA ultimately refused to make an assessment, even with a low level of confidence.
“Both hypotheses rely on significant assumptions or face problems related to conflicting reports,” according to the agency.
The CIA denied engaging in bribery and said it would investigate the allegations.
Republican Congressmen Mike Turner and Brad Wenstrup, both from Ohio, who lead the Intelligence and Covid committees respectively, wrote a letter to CIA Director William Burns on Tuesday demanding all documents on the subject.
Lawmakers set a Sept. 26 deadline for the CIA to turn over all records involving the COVID discovery team and all communications with the FBI, the Department of State, Health and Human Services and the Department of Energy on this subject.
The Department of Energy, which oversees biological research laboratories in the United States, concluded with “low confidence” in February this year that the virus most likely originated in a laboratory in Wuhan. The FBI concluded the same thing with moderate confidence.
Five other intelligence agencies concluded that natural transmission – the theory that the virus jumped from an animal to a human host – was more likely.
U.S. officials have remained frustrated with China’s obstruction in their own efforts to shed light on the origins of the virus.
Researchers conducting work at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2017
Brad Wenstrup, Chairman of the Special Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic
They may never be able to definitively determine where it all started, according to Chinese authorities. destroys some virus samples and used others in research, U.S. officials say.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified report in June outlining its inconclusive findings.
“All agencies continue to assess that a natural or laboratory-associated origin remains a plausible hypothesis to explain the first human infection,” the report said.
As of this month, around seven million people have died since the virus ravaged the world starting in 2020.