On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released an interim report on the origins of COVID-19. The report was 22 pages and titled “Unclassified Summary of the Second Interim Report on the Origins of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
- We last reported that bioweapons research at WIV was funded at least partially in part by the US Department of Defense.
- EcoHealth Alliance took funding for research from that USAID, money that came from a United States Department of Defense bioweapons research agency, and spent it doing research on bioweapons with a state-run bioweapons lab in China.
- Therefore, the United States military was (possibly unwittingly) funding bioweapons research at a military bioweapons lab in China. For years.
The United States military funded research into bioweapons in a military laboratory in China.
Scott Hounsell has written extensively on the strange tendrils of US funding for research at WIV. Wednesday’s report addresses ongoing concerns regarding the funding of the PLA academy of military medical science by the US government. According to the report, this academy “functions like China’s military research organization.” ”
The conclusions of the HSPCI report are in contradiction with the intelligence community’s report on the origins of SARS/CoV-2
Wednesday’s interim report was released by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Republicans. This contradicts the intelligence community’s findings last year that the virus wasn’t created to be a biological weapon.
The report takes aim at China and the IC, but it also points out they haven’t seen any evidence that the virus was deliberately released.
Here are some highlights from The Executive Summary:
- In direct contrast to media skepticism in the early days of the pandemic, the scientific community now largely accepts as feasible that the COVID-19 pandemic may have emerged from a lab-related event involving Chinese scientists experimenting with coronaviruses. Scientists have called for additional investigations and broader government cooperation to address the issue. Since the People’s Republic of China has not been transparent in sharing information, the IC is uniquely situated to provide relevant information. However, the IC has thus far failed to inform the public and failed to keep its Congressional oversight committees fully informed about what it knows. The IC owes the American people greater transparency on the information it already has and must be fully transparent to those in Congress with oversight responsibility.
- Based on our investigation involving a variety of public and non-public information, we conclude that there are indications that SARS-CoV-2 may have been tied to China’s biological weapons research program and spilled over to the human population during a lab-related incident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). The IC has failed to adequately address this information. The Committee has not seen any indications that the Chinese military intentionally released SARS-CoV-2.
- Omissions in the IC’s declassified version of its Updated Assessment on COVID-19 Origins (Updated Assessment) were misleading on key issues. One of the IC’s three primary tasks in its 90-day assessment of the virus’s origins was to evaluate the virus’s potential connections to biological weapons programs. The declassified report claimed the IC was able to reach a “broad agreement” that the virus was not developed as a biological weapon. Despite the fact the IC relayed its confidence levels for nearly every other assessment in the declassified report – low confidence, moderate confidence, etc. – the IC failed to disclose to the public its confidence level regarding this bioweapons assessment.
- The IC’s declassified version also withheld other key information from the public that was in the classified version. The Committee believes that this vital information could have been included in the declassified version without harming national security. In fact, these omissions likely skewed the public’s understanding of key issues. The IC should be transparent regarding what it does or does not know regarding the relationship between the PLA’s Fifth Institute of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS), which China has publicly admitted conducts bioweapons research and coronavirus experiments, and the WIV, particularly during 2019.
- In addition to the problems with the IC’s declassified version of the Updated Assessment, the classified version provided to Congress omits additional vital information and dismisses important intelligence in a cursory manner. The IC also failed to correct claims in the classified Updated Assessment when additional clarifying and important information became available, information that undermined a key assertion in the report.
- The IC has failed to comply with numerous requests for more information on these issues. The Committee will continue to press the IC to share the information it has and to explain why the information was omitted from the declassified and classified reports.
The Minority contingent of the HSPCI is made up of 10 Republicans: Ranking Member Mike Turner (Ohio), Brad Wenstrup (Ohio), Chris Stewart (Utah), Rick Crawford (Ark.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Markwayne Mullin (Okla.), Trent Kelly (Miss.), Darin LaHood (Ill.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), and Mike Gallagher (Wis.).
The Republican leadership applauded the report:
House Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Minority whip Steve Scalise issued a joint statement Wednesday, praising their efforts and promising to continue pandemic investigations within the GOP-controlled Congress next year.
This statement says that Americans have the right to know the origins of COVID-19 and future health risks. They should also be able to rely on Washington leaders who are determined to find the truth.
Rep. They also lend credibility to the laboratory leak theory, which many government officials, Big Tech platforms, and media outlets quickly called a “conspiracy theory”. ”
The report points out that the findings raise additional questions in addition to those raised by the August 5, 2022 Letter sent by the Committee, to intelligence agency heads.
The Committee wrote to the heads of the CIA, DIA, FBI, and DHS on August 5, 2022. They addressed intelligence questions in the Updated Assessment of the Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence Counterintelligence and the Undersecretary of Defense.
1. All reports, analyses, and intelligence products that were created by your agency between 2019 and the present regarding the origins of SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 are required.
2. In what extent was your agency responsible to distribute intelligence products to the broader IC before or during the ICwide review?
3. Were any SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 intelligence products created by your agencies withheld from distribution within the agency or the wider intelligence community?
Community? Please list products and explain why you are restricting or stopping their distribution
4. Were any drafts or analyses related to this topic rejected or denied for finalization? Please send any drafts along with an explanation.
These were not approved or finalized. Members requested this information by August 19, 2020.
The report explains further that responses to the letter were not overwhelming.
DIA and CIA have not replied to the request. DIA merely resent documents it had already sent to the Committee. CIA provided a list only of documents that it had already produced. Neither agency provided any additional documents that would have substantively addressed the concerns raised in the letter.
Perhaps the biggest question now is once Republicans retake control of the House in January, will they continue to hold the IC’s feet to the fire on this? And, of course, will that bear fruit?