Tuberville Demands Information on CIA Whistleblower Allegations Concerning COVID-19 Origins Investigation

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) joined Dr. Rand Paul (R-KY) and 17 other senators in a follow-up letter to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), William J. Burns, regarding whistleblower allegations related to the CIA’s investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

According to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic (Select Subcommittee) and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) a multi-decade, senior-level, current Agency officer claims that the CIA assigned seven officers to a COVID Discovery Team. The Team consisted of multi-disciplinary and experienced officers with significant scientific expertise. According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed the intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. The seventh member of the Team, who also happened to be the most senior, was the lone officer to believe COVID-19 originated through zoonosis.

“These allegations raise serious questions about the Agency’s investigation of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in light of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence June 2023 unclassified report stating that CIA remained ‘unable to determine the precise origin of the COVID-19 pandemic,’” the Senators wrote. “The Agency’s refusal to cooperate with requests for information by members of the Senate regarding whistleblower allegations is unacceptable. The CIA has an obligation to be responsive to congressional oversight requests by all members of the Senate regardless of what committees they are assigned to.”

For this reason, the Senators are reiterating the following requests for information:

  1. All documents and communications regarding the establishment of all iterations of the COVID Discovery Team(s);
  2. All documents and communications between or among the members of all iterations of the COVID Discovery Team(s) regarding the origins of COVID-19;
  3. All documents and communications between or among members of all iterations of the COVID Discovery Team(s) and other employees or contractors of the Agency regarding the origins of COVID-19;
  4. All documents and communications between or among members of all iterations of the COVID Discovery Team(s) and employees or contractors of other federal government agencies, including but not limited to the U.S. Department of State, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (to include the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), and the U.S. Department of Energy regarding the origins of COVID-19; and
  5. All documents and communications relating to any conclusions of the COVID Discovery Team(s) and subsequent revision of such conclusions.

Coach Tuberville and Dr. Paul are joined in sending the letter by U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ted Budd (R-NC), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), and Ron Johnson (R-WI).

Full text of the letter is available here.


On September 12, 2023, Senators requested CIA Director Burns provide additional documents and information related to the Agency’s investigation of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic to assist in evaluating the whistleblower’s allegations.

On September 27, 2023, the Senators received a response from the Office of Congressional Affairs indicating the CIA was engaging directly with the congressional intelligence committees on this matter. However, the Agency failed to provide any of the requested information or documentation.

You can read the September letter here.

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.