Dr. Anthony Fauci has admitted that the COVID-19 virus could have come from the Wuhan lab after months of denying the possibility, according to Fox News.
The National Institute of Health director acknowledged that scientists as far back as February of 2020 had admitted COVID-19 “could be an engineered virus” that had been leaked from a lab, however, Fauci maintained that he believes zoonotic transmission is the most likely in an interview with USA Today this week.
“I remember it very well,” Fauci told USA Today. “We decided on the call the situation really needed to be looked into carefully.”
The call being referenced by the White House medical adviser included Kristian Andersen, an expert in infectious disease at Scripps Research Translational Institute in California, who doubted the natural origin of the virus.
“The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered,” Andersen said in an email to Fauci reviewed by Fox News, sent the day before the call.
Andersen said that there were several other experts who also reviewed the same data and felt that the genome was “inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory,” but noted that “those opinions could still change” following further analyses.
Fauci, however, didn’t get on board with the theory, at least not publically, at the time. He told USA Today that the meeting was a very productive back-and-forth conversation where some on the call felt it could possibly be an engineered virus.”
“I always had an open mind,” Fauci told USA Today. “Even though I felt then, and still do, the most likely origin was in an animal host.” But days after the teleconference, according to an email obtained by USA Today, Andersen had changed his position, saying the data “conclusively show” that the virus was not engineered.
Andersen reportedly pushed for more data on the origins of the virus from the onset saying, “I do wonder if we need to be more firm on the question of engineering,” before pointing out that “Engineering can mean many things and could be done for either basic research or nefarious reasons, but the data conclusively show that neither was done…”
Thus far no clear answer has been offered to the American people and no culprit has been identified.