In a major development, the U.S. Department of Energy has reportedly concluded that the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic may have leaked from a coronavirus lab in Wuhan, China. This revelation has left everything in flux as questions arise about who knew what and when.
One person whose statements are receiving increased scrutiny is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s former leading infectious disease expert. Dr. Fauci had long maintained that the virus emerged naturally, but recent reports suggest that he may have been aware of evidence suggesting otherwise.
In fact, nearly three years ago, Dr. Fauci cited a study that found the virus’s mutations “consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human.” When asked in April 2020 if it was possible that the virus came from a Chinese lab, he referenced this study and stated: “There was a study recently where a group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists looked at the sequences…in bats as they evolve and the mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now is totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human.”
Fauci said, “So, the paper will be available. I don’t have the authors right now, but we can make it available to you.”
House Republicans released emails that suggest Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading infectious disease expert, may have prompted a study aimed at disproving the theory that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan. The emails also indicate that Dr. Fauci had final approval over the scientific paper he commissioned, according to The New York Post.
Dr. Jeremy Farrer, who was then head of the British nonprofit Wellcome Trust, also reportedly “prompted” the study. On the day it was published, emails show that Farrer requested an edit to change one word from “unlikely” to “improbable” in a sentence relating to whether SARS-CoV-2 could have emerged through laboratory manipulation.
These revelations raise questions about potential conflicts of interest and political pressures on scientists involved in investigating COVID-19’s origins. As more information comes to light, it remains unclear what impact these findings will have on public trust in experts like Dr. Fauci and Dr. Farrer.