Fauci squirms as he’s grilled on whether he dismissed COVID lab leak theory too quickly
dr. Anthony Fauci appealed during a Fox News grill over his dismissal of the COVID lab leak theory and ties to the Chinese lab from which the virus allegedly originated.
The White House COVID Czar, who has long rejected the idea that COVID-19 was developed in a lab in Wuhan, China, told Fox News host Bret Baier he is now keeping an “open mind” about its origins. of the virus.
Baier, however, seemed unconvinced, noting that Fauci had been warned by experts via email last year that the virus could have been created in a lab while still downplaying the idea.
The Fox host also pointed out that Fauci, director of the National Institute of Health, had ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was awarded $600,000 in 2014 for research into whether bat coronaviruses can be transmitted to humans.
“It’s the same people who are funded by you, by you, who get money from you,” Baier said.
The COVID czar laughed annoyed by the conversation and denied editing a research paper by the scientist in Wuhan.
Fox News host Bret Baier (left) criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci (right) on his rejections of the theory that COVID-19 was created in a lab in Wuhan and his ties to that lab
Fauci laughed at the idea, saying he has always kept an ‘open mind’ about the origin of the virus, despite his previous insistence that COVID-19 was a natural phenomenon
Baier pointed out that he was skeptical of Fauci’s “open mind” as he appeared to ignore a 2020 email (pictured) sent to him by virus experts that contained COVID elements that suggested it may have been in a lab. developed
How Fauci Flip-Flopped About the Origin of COVID
April 2020: Fauci has repeatedly made public statements suggesting that COVID was the result of an “unusual human-animal interface” in a Chinese “wet market” and that “the mutations needed to get to the point where it is now fully correspond to a jump of some species from animal to man.’
may 2020: Still adamant that he didn’t believe the coronavirus was man-made. “If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [the scientific evidence] Very, very much leaning towards this cannot have been artificially or intentionally manipulated,” he told National Geographic in an exclusive interview published May 4, 2020. ‘Everything about the step-by-step evolution over time strongly suggests that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped from sorts.’
End of May 2021 to early June 2021: At an event called “United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking,” Fauci was asked if he was “still sure” that the virus developed naturally.
‘No, actually… I’m not convinced. I think we need to keep investigating what happened in China until we know to the best of our ability what happened,” Fauci said. “Certainly, the people who have researched it say it was probably the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals, but it could have been something else, and we need to find that out.”
He added: “So, you know, that’s why I said I’m totally in favor of any research into the origin of the virus.”
Despite saying nothing could be ruled out about the origins of COVID-19 as officials continue their investigations, Fauci continued to reiterate that the virus was most likely natural.
“We have an open mind, but it looks very much like this was a natural occurrence,” Fauci said.
Fauci also claimed to have had an open mind since the start of the pandemic, despite his history of flip-flopping on the matter.
During the first month of the pandemic, Fauci said he wasn’t convinced the virus could come from a lab, but in May 2021, he changed his mind at the United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking.
Speaking at the event, Fauci said he was open to the idea that the virus could have originated in a lab and said a thorough investigation in China was needed.
The COVID czar, however, remained under the leadership of Senator Rand Paul at the time, citing Fauci’s connections to the Wuhan lab while the health official shut down the claims.
Then, in June 2021, thousands of Fauci emails were released through last spring’s A Freedom of Information Act request — including multiple discussions about COVID being man-made, some of which were later redacted.
In a Jan. 31, 2020 email — more than two months before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic — Fauci sent a copy of the Science journal article titled “Mining coronavirus genomes for clues to the origins of the outbreak’ to two people.
US virus researcher Kristian Andersen and Sir Jeremy Farrar, who runs a global health charity in Britain, were on the receiving end of the email.
“This just came out today. You may have seen it. If not, it’s interesting for the current discussion,” Fauci wrote.
Andersen, who runs a viral genomics lab at Scripps Research in La Jolla, Calif., wrote back: “The problem is that our phylogenetic analyzes cannot answer whether the sequences are unusual at individual residues unless they are completely off.
“The unusual features of the virus make up a very small part of the genome (<0.1%), so you have to look very closely at all the sequences to see that some of the functions look (potentially) manipulated."
Andersen also noted that he and others “all find the genome inconsistent with the expectations of evolutionary theory,” but added that “further analysis is yet to be done, so those opinions may still change.”
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Health, was associated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (pictured), which was awarded $600,000 in 2014 for research into whether bat coronaviruses can be transmitted to humans
Despite the notice, Fauci’s primary view shared with Americans was that the virus was a natural phenomenon and not one that could have been created in a lab.
China has furiously denied that the virus behind COVID-19 escaped its lab at the original epicenter, accusing the United States of taking a “dangerous stance” by calling for a full investigation into the possibility.
Fauci was initially the public face of the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, but relations between the head of the NIH and Trump soured as Trump grew impatient with Fauci’s cautious approach to lockdowns.
Unsurprisingly, Fauci has once again become a public face for the White House under the Biden administration.
Republicans have run all their midterm campaigns promising to investigate Fauci. In Congress, they clashed several times with Fauci over the NIH grant that went to a lab in the city where COVID-19 originated.
The intense scrutiny comes as Fauci prepares to retire, telling Politico this week that he will leave office before the end of Biden’s term after serving seven governments.