Dr. Anthony Fauci is skeptical of the speculation that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, escaped from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Nevertheless, Fauci, the nation’s prime infectious illness skilled, informed CBS’ Weijia Jiang that he would help a extra thorough investigation into the origins of the virus, simply as he all the time has.
“Dr. Fauci tells me that his opinion about the origins of COVID-19 have not changed: He believes that it is ‘highly likely’ that it first occurred naturally before spreading from animal to human,” Jiang, CBS’ senior White House correspondent, tweeted Monday. “Since no one is 100% sure, he’s open to a thorough investigation.”
Jiang posed the query to Fauci on Monday, hours after The Wall Street Journal and CNN surfaced a beforehand undisclosed U.S. intelligence report that three researchers on the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell sick and needed to be hospitalized a month earlier than China reported its first COVID-19 circumstances in 2019.
Yuan Zhiming, the director of the institute’s Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, responded in state-run media, dismissing the report as “a complete lie.”
Fauci told Jiang he was unaware of the diseases, including that simply because he’s advocating for a extra clear inquiry into COVID’s origins doesn’t imply he’s endorsing any principle. He simply needs extra knowledge.
It could also be that Fauci is at pains to make clear this level after some outlets this week seized upon an interview he gave PolitiFact earlier this month as ostensible “evidence” that he believes the virus didn’t develop naturally.
Asked if he’s “still confident that [SARS-CoV-2] developed naturally,” Fauci preached warning and invited a extra thorough inquiry:
No, I’m not satisfied about that. I feel that we must always proceed to analyze what went on in China till we discover out, to the perfect of our potential, precisely what occurred.
Certainly, the individuals who’ve investigated it say it probably was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then contaminated people, however it may’ve been one thing else, and we have to discover that out. So that’s the explanation why I stated I’m completely in favor of any investigation that appears into the origin of the virus.
That’s much like the reply Fauci gave Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) earlier this month, when, in response to a difficult-to-follow line of questioning from Paul, Fauci emphasised: “I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done, and I’m fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China.”
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to develop into a founding member and assist form HuffPost’s subsequent chapter