On Saturday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden's former chief medical advisor and the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, went on CNN to tell Jim Acosta he has always "kept an open mind" about the theory that the Covid virus originated from a Chinese laboratory, despite the revelation last week that he prompted the drafting of paper to "disprove the lab leak theory."
"I know you've supported the theory we were just talking about, that the virus came from natural causes instead of a lab leak. You said you're open to the evidence wherever it goes. Has your thinking on this evolved at all?" Acosta asked. "You know, Jim, I've kept an open mind throughout the entire process," Fauci answered.
"What has changed over months to a year or more, is what I mentioned a bit ago, namely that as evolutionary virologists went into this, deeper and deeper, and analyzed it from a number of standpoints, epidemiologically, virologically, geospatially, they wrote two very important, well written peer reviewed papers in Science Magazine, strongly suggesting that in fact it was a natural occurrence from an animal to a human," Fauci added.
On March 5, the GOP-led Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic released a memo citing evidence that showed Fauci "prompted the drafting of 'Proximal Origins' to disprove the lab leak theory" in 2020.
"The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2" was published in Nature magazine in March 2020 and written by Dr. Kristian Andersen of Scripps Research (Scripps), which advanced the natural transmission theory, at the behest of Dr. Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins, despite a February conference call where the two were "warned that COVID-19 may have leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China."
"I will keep a completely open mind as to what the origin is," Fauci told Acosta.
"Do we have any idea how that would even work? Have you heard any accounts as to how that might have happened?" Acosta asked.
Fauci said, "the intelligence agencies agree unanimously that this was not engineered, namely, they didn't deliberately do this to make a bio weapon."
In December 2022, GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee alleged there were "indications" that the Covid pandemic could be the result of biological weapons research commissioned by the CCP.
"A lab leak could be that someone was out in the wild, maybe looking for different types of viruses and bats, got infected, went into a lab and was being studied in the lab and then it came out of the lab, but if that's the definition of a lab leak, and then there still is a natural occurrence," Fauci said.
"The other possibility is someone takes a virus from the environment that doesn't actually spread very well in humans, and manipulates it a bit and accidentally it escapes or accidentally infect someone and then you get an outbreak," he continued, indicating that the virus could have been the product of gain-of-function research.
In August 2021, unredacted emails from Fauci to EcoHealth's Peter Daszak, who was working with Chinese virologists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, revealed that there was evidence suggesting the virus escaped from the lab.
Fauci appeared on Fox News on Friday to claim he "always kept an open mind" about the lab leak theory.
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