Fauci goes 'Twilight Zone,' says we've always been open to lab-leak theory

Dr. Anthony Fauci throws out the ceremonial first pitch at a Washington Nationals game in the nation’s capital on July 23, 2020. (Wikimedia Commons)

Dr. Anthony Fauci insisted in an interview Wednesday that he’s always urged people to be open to the lab-leak theory of the origin of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

But he clearly denounced the theory until shortly after the publishing on May 2 of a breakthrough analysis by Cambridge-educated, former New York Times science reporter Nicholas Wade. And Fauci was personally thanked for dismissing the lab-leak theory by Peter Daszak, the virologist whose controversial research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology was funded by Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIAID.

“Look, we’ve always said people should keep an open mind about the lab-leak theory,” Fauci told the CBS show “This Morning” on Wednesday.

But an interview in May 2020 with National Geographic magazine typified his postion over the past year, saying the scientific evidence “is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.”

“Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species,” he told the magazine.

In February 2020, Daszak authored a letter published by the prestigious medical journal The Lancet that mocked anyone who suggested the virus came from the Wuhan lab.

Daszak’s letter was widely cited by establishment media and became the last word on the subject.

Two months later, Fauci received an email from Daszak thanking him for backing the natural origin theory.

“I just wanted to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for Covid-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Daszak wrote.

Last month, however, shortly after Wade’s analysis was published, Fauci was asked if he was still confident that the virus developed naturally.

“I am not convinced about that, I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened,” Fauci said.

He added, nevertheless, that “the people who investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals.”

But he said “it could have been something else, and we need to find that out.”

“So, you know, that’s the reason why I said I’m perfectly in favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus.”

In a Jan. 31, 2020, email obtained recently through a Freedom of Information Act request, a top virologist warned Fauci, while he was publicly dismissing the lab-leak theory, that the novel coronavirus had possibly been “engineered”. The scientist, Kristian Andersen, noted he and other scientists “all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.”

Four days later, however, Andersen changed his tune in advance of Daszak’s letter in The Lancet.

Andersen, in feedback regarding the letter, called the claims that the virus was engineered “crackpot theories,” stating “engineering can mean many things and could be done for basic research or nefarious reasons, but the data conclusively show that neither was done.”

Daszak had a clear conflict of interest as the head of a nonprofit that used a $3.4 million grant from Fauci’s NIAID to fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Titled “Statement in support of the scientists, public health professionals, and medical professionals of China combatting Covid-19,” his letter in The Lancet praised the Chinese “who continue to save lives and protect global health during the challenge of the Covid-19 outbreak.”

“We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin,” the letter said. “Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours and prejudices that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against the virus.”

Despite Daszak’s conflict of interest, it ended with: “We declare no competing interests.”

Jamie Metzl, a former Clinton administration official, questioned how much new data could have arisen in the four days between the email and Andersen’s feedback for the letter in The Lancet, NBC News reported.

Metzl believes the scientists likely were reacting to then-President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the virus leaked from the Wuhan lab, and they were too quick to dismiss the theory.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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