Coronavirus czar Anthony Fauci now says he is “not convinced” COVID-19 developed naturally.
Fauci responded with a newfound uncertainty when pressed during a recent Poynter Institute-sponsored forum titled “United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking.”
“No actually. I am not convinced about that,” Fauci answered, according to Fox News. “I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened.”
Fauci’s first sign of deviating from the common dogma—which social-media networks have promoted by “fact-checking” and censoring any skepticism of—was during a May 11 congressional hearing when grilled by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
That was followed in quick succession by a revision of guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that effectively cascaded into the end of COVID restrictions for many states after more than a year of lockdowns.
With the pandemic appearing to be in hindsight, Fauci has gradually reversed his former solidarity with the Chinese Communist Party and its narrative, even as many reports indicate the Fauci-run National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funneled millions of dollars into the research conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“Certainly, the people who investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals,” Fauci said during the Poynter forum.
“But it could have been something else, and we need to find that out,” he continued. “So, you know, that’s the reason why I said I’m perfectly in favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus,” he added.
During a recent discussion with Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, Fauci said he would support further investigation, reported the New York Post.
“Do you think it’s possible that COVID-19 arose from a lab accident … in Wuhan, and should it be fully investigated?” Marshall asked Fauci.
“That possibility certainly exists, and I am totally in favor of a full investigation of whether that could have happened,” he replied.
Meanwhile, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a report on Thursday that claimed there is “significant circumstantial evidence” that COVID-19 originated from a leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“International efforts to discover the true source of the virus, however, have been stymied by a lack of cooperation from the People’s Republic of China,” the Republicans wrote in the report.
The news comes as the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, “Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report that could add weight to growing calls for a fuller probe of whether the Covid-19 virus may have escaped from the laboratory.”
The report included a statement from a spokeswoman for the National Security Council.
“We continue to have serious questions about the earliest days of the Covid-19 pandemic, including its origins within the People’s Republic of China,” the spokeswoman said.
“We’re not going to make pronouncements that prejudge an ongoing WHO study into the source of SARS-CoV-2,” she continued. “As a matter of policy we never comment on intelligence issues.”
Yet, the acknowledgement of the alternative narrative itself is a remarkable reversal, which validates much of the existing skepticism and may lead other outlets to dig further into the questions over a potential cover-up.
“So far, there’s a common hypothesis on the origin of Covid-19 which says that that the virus was engineered by researchers and came out of the lab in Wuhan, China,” a LiveMint report noted on Monday. “In fact, several scientists have said that the lab-leak theory should be taken seriously until there is a rigorous data-led investigation that proves it wrong.”
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.