A Republican congressman, Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, who chairs the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, has asserted that Dr. Anthony Fauci was invited to CIA headquarters to contribute to the agency’s examination of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter addressed to the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General, Wenstrup stated, “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.”
The letter, however, does not specify the source of this information, the date of Fauci’s alleged CIA visit, or the precise nature of his purported advice or influence on the CIA probe.
A spokesperson for the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic confirmed that they have received information from multiple sources across various agencies regarding Dr. Fauci’s visits to and from the CIA.
As investigators worldwide seek to determine the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, two prevailing theories emerge: natural animal-to-human transmission and a potential laboratory leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Dr. Fauci’s public statements, particularly in the early stages of the pandemic, leaned towards downplaying the lab leak theory.
The CIA recently released a report in June of this year, refraining from making a definitive assessment on COVID’s origins due to significant uncertainties and conflicting data associated with both theories.
In response to these claims, Rep. Wenstrup has requested documents and communications related to Fauci’s access to CIA facilities and employees. He has also sought an interview with HHS-OIG Special Agent Brett Rowland, who was involved in Fauci’s personal protection detail during his tenure as NIAID director.
While it is not unusual for the intelligence community to seek input from experts like Dr. Fauci on matters related to COVID, this alleged contact with the CIA raises questions. Wenstrup’s subcommittee views it as ‘questionable’ and suggests it adds weight to concerns about the promotion of potentially inaccurate narratives surrounding the origins of COVID-19 by federal agencies.
The Select Subcommittee, under Republican leadership, is actively investigating COVID-19 origins, gain-of-function research, government spending related to the pandemic, and policies such as mask and vaccine mandates. They have also cited an unnamed CIA whistleblower who testified about alleged bribery within the agency regarding the origins of COVID-19.
As this story develops, it remains to be seen how the agencies involved will respond to these allegations and requests for information.