Fauci finally admits COVID-19 may have come from a ‘lab leak’ after his emails exposed
(NY POST) – Dr. Anthony Fauci is admitting that the coronavirus could have come from a “lab leak” — as emails released through the FOIA show he was told of “unusual features of the virus” at the beginning of the pandemic — but is blaming criticism of his shifting positions on “people out there” who “resent” him.
“There is no doubt that there are people out there who, for one reason or another, resent me for what I did in the last administration, which was not anything that was anti-Trump at all,” Fauci, a top adviser on the coronavirus to President Biden, said on MSNBC’s “Deadline” Wednesday evening.
Fauci admitted that he “can’t guarantee everything that is going on in the Wuhan lab” in the wake of criticism after a trove of his emails were published Tuesday.
“It was just trying to get the right information, to try and get the right data. What they didn’t seem to understand, I guess that it is understandable that they didn’t understand it, is that science is a dynamic process,” continued Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.
In an interview Thursday morning on CNN, Fauci was asked about the email he received in April 2020 from the president of EcoHealth Alliance thanking him for knocking the theory that the coronavirus may have originated because of a leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“Oh, that’s nonsense. I don’t even see how they get that from that email. That email was sent to me from them,” Fauci said on CNN.
“I have always said, and will say today … I still believe the most likely origin is from an animal species to a human, but I keep an absolutely open mind, that if there may be other origins of that there may be another reason, it could have been a lab leak,” he continued.
Fauci received that email from the head of a nonprofit that used a $3.4 million grant from the federal government to fund research at the lab.
But in January, Fauci was warned by researcher Kristian Anderson that the coronavirus had “unusual features.”
“The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered,” Andersen, who runs a viral genomics lab at Scripps Research in La Jolla, Calif., wrote to Fauci on Jan. 31.
A few months after the start of the pandemic last year, Fauci said the virus most likely “evolved in nature and then jumped species,” as opposed to being “artificially or deliberately manipulated.”
Fauci on CNN said he still backs the “likelihood” that the virus was the result of animal-to-human transmission — and that “you can misconstrue” the email “however you want.”
“But I keep an open mind all the time. And that’s the reason why I have been public that we should continue to look for the origin,” Fauci said before once again addressing the subject of the email sent by the president of EcoHealth Alliance.
“That email — you can misconstrue it however you want — that email was from a person to me saying thank you for whatever it is he thought I said, and I said that I think the most likely origin is a jumping of species. I still do think it is at the same time as I’m keeping an open mind that it might be a lab leak,” Fauci said.
He said interest may be building behind the lab leak theory, but that Americans should not “be accusatory” and avoid “pointing fingers” toward the Chinese Communist Party, claiming “It’s obviously in China’s interests” to understand the virus’ origins, without elaborating.
“It’s obviously in China’s interests to find out exactly what it is. And the ‘is’ of the natural theory would be to find that link. So you have to keep looking for it,” he said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“I mean, obviously, you want openness and cooperation. One of the ways you can get it is don’t be accusatory. Try to get both a forensic, a scientific, and an investigational approach. I think the accusatory part about it is only going to get them to pull back even more. We’ve got to do it in a combination of diplomacy, scientific forensic investigation.”
“We’re seeing a lot of, you know — I don’t even want to describe it — a lot of pointing of fingers and things like that. Keep an open mind and go after the truth,” he said.
The emails were among more than 3,200 pages of his messages that were posted online by BuzzFeed News on Tuesday after it obtained them through the Freedom of Information Act.