The White House COVID tsar, who has long insisted that COVID was likely transmitted from an animal to its first human patient, made the admission during a Fox News interview with Bret Baier on Friday.
Fauci admitted: ‘We have an open mind but it looks very much like this was a natural occurrence, but you keep an open mind.’
Baier grilled Fauci about a claim he made in April 2020, after being sent a link to a report made by Baier himself, that saw Fauci dismiss the lab leak theory as ‘a shiny object that will go away.’
The Fox News anchor said: ‘When you read the email from Kristian Andersen who says…”one has to look really closely to see some features (potentially) look engineered.”
‘And you say this is a shiny object and it will go away. It does not look like you’re open minded to it.’
Fauci appeared to try to deflect by flattering Baier, saying: ‘Bret, I know youre a good person, I know you a long time.
‘If you take a group of emails when people are considering and thinking out loud, and stop there, and don’t look at the weeks of consideration by the same people who wrote the same emails… in published peer review literature, they explain why they thought it was a natural occurrence.’
In February 2020 Kristen Andersen – a California-based virologist – speculating that COVID appeared to be genetically-engineered.
Two months later, in June, then-National Institutes of Health Director Dr Francis Collins emailed Fauci a link to a Fox Report claiming ‘multiple sources’ believed COVID had leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Collins wrote: ‘Wondering if there is something NIH can do to help put down this very destructive conspiracy, with what seems to be growing momentum.
‘I hoped the Nature Medicine article on the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 would settle this. But probably didn’t get much visibility. Anything more we can do? Ask the National Academy (of Sciences) to weigh in?’
Fauci also appeared keen to pour cold water on the claim, and replied: ‘I would not do anything about this right now. It is a shiny object that will go away in times.’
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Those emails were released by Republicans in June 2021, as concern continues to mount that COVID did leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Despite saying that nothing could be ruled out over the origin of COVID-19 as officials continue their investigation, Fauci continued to reiterate that the virus was most likely natural.
‘We have an open mind, but it looks very very much like this was a natural occurrence,’ Fauci said.
An investigation by US security services has been unable to determine whether COVID was leaked from a lab, or jumped from an animal into a human.
The Chinese government has hampered attempts to investigate.
And the proximity of the Wuhan Institute of Virology to the first epicenter of the disease has also stoked suspicions.
It is one of only four facilites in the world performing experiments on bat coronaviruses – including COVID-19.
Fauci also claimed he had an open mind since the beginning of the pandemic despite his history of flip-flopping on the issue.
During the early month of the pandemic, Fauci said he was unconvinced that the virus could have come from a lab, but he changed attitudes in May 2021 saying he was open to the idea the virus could have originated in a lab and said a thorough investigation in China was needed.
, Fauci’s primary opinion that he shared with Americans was that the virus was a natural occurrence and not one that could have originated in a lab.
China has furiously denied that the virus behind COVID-19 escaped from its lab in the original epicenter, accusing the United States of taking a ‘dangerous stance’ in calling for a full investigation into the possibility.
Fauci was at first the public face of the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, but the relationship between the NIH head and Trump soured as Trump grew impatient with Fauci’s cautious approach to lockdowns.
Unsurprisingly, Fauci has again become a public face for the White House under the Biden administration.
The intense scrutiny comes as Fauci prepares to retire, telling Politico this week that he will be leaving his post before the end of Biden’s term after serving through seven administrations.
He will be paid a higher retirement pension than President Biden is paid in a salary, according to a report.
This is an excerpt from Daily Mail.