ANTHONY Fauci told foreign health leaders that coronavirus could’ve escaped from the Wuhan lab last spring, the former head of the FDA Scott Gottlieb claims.
Scott Gottlieb said Fauci told health leaders that Covid could’ve escaped from a Wuhan lab last springCredit: CBS
The health expert remains under fire as emails suggest he downplayed the lab leak theoryCredit: Reuters
Scott Gottlieb, former chief of the Food and Drugs Administration, claimed Fauci briefed health experts in Europe last spring that Covid could’ve originated in a lab.
He told CBS yesterday: “I think early on when they looked at the strain, they had suspicions.
“And it takes time to do that analysis and that dispelled some of those suspicions.”
The ex FDA chief also said that Covid-19 needs to be examined from a national security perspective, MailOnline reports.
He said: “A scientific mindset looks at the virus and the virus’ behavior and draws a conclusion.”
Gottlieb said that a national security investigation would look at the behavior of the Chinese government and the Wuhan lab in question.
Gottlieb said a national security investigation would look at the behavior of the Chinese government and the Wuhan labCredit: AP
Virus experts had previously warned Fauci that Covid, which has killed over three million people worldwide, may have originated from a lab.
Fauci even received a message from the president of a non-profit organization thanking him for questioning the lab-leak theory.
The EcoHealth Alliance used its grant from the National Institutes of Health to study coronaviruses in Chinese bats and reportedly sent the Wuhan Institute of Virology nearly $600,000 over the course of five years, beginning in 2014.
The figure is being questioned as the boffin’s released emails suggest that the US sent over $826,000 – over $200,000 more than Fauci disclosed on the Senate floor.
Fauci denied that any US cash went towards “gain of function” research – a practice that involves taking a virus that can infect humans and making it either more transmissible or pathogenic.
But he admitted that he couldn’t be certain scientists at the lab kept their word and avoided using US funding to conduct so-called “gain-of-function” research.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology is at the center of the lab leak theoryCredit: Reuters
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the lab leak theory was shut down “too quickly”.
She told CBS yesterday: “The first is to recognize that there was too much of a tendency early on to dismiss this possibility of a laboratory leak.”
Fauci has drastically altered his stance on how Covid spread since the pandemic began
He dismissed the lab-leak theory last May as he told National Geographic that there was “no evidence” Covid was made in a Chinese lab.
The scientist said: “If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.”
Yet this month, Fauci acknowledged the lab leak theory could have weight and the virus may not have originated naturally.
He told CNN: “I have always said, and will say today … I still believe the most likely origin is from an animal species to a human.
“But I keep an absolutely open mind, that if there may be other origins of that there may be another reason, it could have been a lab leak.”
More than 3,000 pages of Fauci’s emails were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and published last week by Buzzfeed.
Other emails revealed that Fauci had been told about the laboratory theory and dismissed a warning about China’s Covid “cover-up” because it was “too long” for him to read.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the lab leak theory was shut down ‘too quickly’Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Conservative commentator Candace Owens said the health expert “should be tried” in a federal jail.
The lab-leak theory has become increasingly mainstream – just months after it was previously dismissed as conspiracy.
A review into the origins of the pandemic is underway and US intelligence experts will report back to Biden in just under 90 days.
They will be investigating whether the virus jumped from an animal host to humans or whether it was accidentally released from a lab in the Chinese city.
The report led to renewed calls for a broader probe into whether Covid-19 could have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, where the pandemic is widely believed to have begun.
In March, a World Health Organization scientist investigating the origins of the pandemic said the “lab leak theory” cannot be ruled out.
China has always denied allegations of a possible lab leak.