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Fauci reportedly briefed health officials on potential ‘laboratory leak’ of ‘unusual’ COVID strain in 2020

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Republican lawmakers have called for Anthony Fauci to be fired for “blood on his hands,” and have also demanded that he testify before congressional committees and provide information on the origins of COVID-19 among a slew of emails published by BuzzFeed dating from the past year. by the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the recent barrage of media reports has resurrected assumptions Regarding the “laboratory leak” theory, which suggests COVID-19 was a man-made pathogen, former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb said Dr. Anthony Fauci did not completely refute the idea last year.

The Chief Medical Adviser to the President of the United States briefed world leaders in 2020 about the possibility of a new coronavirus leak from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, Gottlieb said when emergence on the CbsFace the Nation on Sunday.

The former FDA chief who worked under then President Donald Trump cited a former senior member of the Trump administration as evidence of Fauci’s statements at the time.

Gottlieb added that the same source recently confirmed Fauci’s 2020 words. The former FDA Commissioner’s book, Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Has Overwhelmed the US and How We Can Beat the Next Pandemic, is due out in September.

Last spring, when Dr. Fauci attended a meeting of world health leaders in Europe around the World Health Assembly, he briefed them that the coronavirus outbreak could be the result of a laboratory leak and admitted that the strain looked unusual, Gottlieb said.

Further in a conversation on the CBS show, the former head of the FDA stressed that when American scientists looked at the strain, they were suspicious.

“And it takes time to do this analysis, and it dispelled some of these suspicions,” he added.

Gottlieb considered it a mistake to look at the virus only from a scientific point of view, adding that it needs to be investigated from a national security point of view.

“Scientific thinking looks at the virus, the behavior of the virus and its sequence and draws a conclusion,” he said, stressing that the national security assessment “looks at the behavior of the Chinese government, looks at the behavior of the laboratory, looks at other evidence in the laboratory, including infections that , as we now know, took place, and which change the overall assessment. “

According to Gottlieb, “the instruments of national security were not seriously involved from the beginning.”

“I think that going forward looking at these kinds of risks, we should judge them through the prism of a national security mindset,” he concluded.

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who previously appeared on the same show, criticized China, which he said was able to provide “exculpatory” evidence that COVID had not leaked out of the lab, but still refused to do so.

He also cited evidence, presumably in favor of the theory, after reports claimed that three scientists who worked at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were admitted to the hospital in November 2019.

US media reports that Wuhan Institute staff became seriously ill just prior to the COVID-19 outbreak were dismissed by the Chinese Foreign Ministry as “smear campaigns and displacement of blame.”

Fauci under fire

Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is currently facing criticism over accusations that he did not speak out about the idea that COVID-19 could have arisen from a laboratory leak in his discussions in the administration. and in other work that he did.

© AFP 2021 / HECTOR RETAMAL

Top view shows laboratory P4 (L) at Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei province, April 17, 2020.

Republican legislators were demanding that Fauci will be fired. On Saturday, Rep. Matt Gaetz said in an interview that Dr. Fauci had “blood on his hands.”
Earlier, two high-ranking Republicans in the House of Representatives said that Fauci was “necessary” to testify before congressional committees and provide information on the origins of COVID-19.

The flurry of criticism against Fauci was also prompted by BuzzFeed’s recent release of 3,200 pages of chief medical advisor emails related to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

In one purported email, Peter Dashak, head of the EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, reportedly thanked Fauci for “downplaying the likelihood” of COVID-19 escaping from the Wuhan lab. …

However, Fauci denied recent allegations against him and his National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

JONATHAN ERNST

U.S. President Donald Trump leaves after a daily coronavirus task force briefing as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 26, 2020.

“Are you really saying that we are involved because we gave a multibillion-dollar institution $ 120,000 a year to track bats?” he said according Financial Timesciting a grant that went through the EcoHealth Alliance to a laboratory in China that has been testing bat coronaviruses for decades.

© AFP 2021 / JOHANN EISELE

Workers beside a mouse (R) cage at the P4 laboratory in Wuhan, capital of China’s Hubei province, on February 23, 2017.

Many who support the “laboratory leak” theory insist that the very fact that the city in which the laboratory is located became the epicenter of the outbreak is too much of a coincidence.

The idea that the COVID-19 virus escaped a laboratory in Wuhan in China – what until recently was considered a kind of “marginal theory” is now the subject of official review after US President Joe Biden ordered the intelligence community to redouble efforts to investigate the origins of the coronavirus and communicate its findings within 90 days, “including whether it arose from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.”

The US President acknowledged that most of the intelligence community has “united” around two scenarios, but “I do not believe there is enough information to assess that one of them is more likely than the other.”

In March, the World Health Organization released the full version of its report on the origin of the coronavirus, in which the WHO called the leak of COVID-19 from the laboratory very unlikely, suggesting that the virus was most likely transmitted to humans from bats through another animal.

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