Anthony Fauci had ignored the warnings issued by virus researchers about the strong possibility of coronavirus being 'lab engineered'. The virus expert was apprised about the possibility in an email sent in January 2020, barely a month after the virus was first reported from the Wuhan province of China.
Fauci, who until now had strongly maintained that COVID-19 is a natural virus, took a U-turn after US President Joe Biden ordered a probe into the possibility of it being lab generated.
'Some of Virus Features (Potentially) Look Engineered'
BuzzFeed News and The Washington Post had accessed 3,200 of Fauci's emails from January to June 2020 under the Freedom on Information Act. In an email sent to the virologist, Dr. Kristian Andersen, a virologist at California-based Scripps Research Institute, told Fauci about the virus being engineered in lab.
The email which was sent on February 1, 2020, was in response to Fauci's previous mail in which he had forwarded a copy of Science magazine article titled 'Mining coronavirus genomes for clues to the outbreak's origins' to two people. "This just came out today. You may have seen it. If not, it is of interest to the current discussion," wrote Fauci.
Responding to the mail, Andersen wrote, "The problem is that our phylogenetic analyses aren't able to answer whether the sequences are unusual at individual residues, except if they are completely off. 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 also mentioned that he and others 'all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory' but added that 'there are still further analyses
Fauci Says Emails Taken Out of Context
Downplaying the startling revelations made through his email, Fauci said that the emails are 'really ripe to be taken out of context.'
Daily Mail reported that Fauci who spoke with NewsNation Now anchor Leland Vittert on The Donlon Report also said that he "can't guarantee everything that is going on in the Wuhan lab."
"The only trouble is they are really ripe to be taken out of context where someone can snip out a sentence in an email without showing the other emails, and say 'based on an email from Dr. Fauci, he said such and such' where you don't really have the full context," Fauci said.
Speaking about the US Grant given to Wuhan Lab, a likely source of Coronavirus leak, Fauci said that it is a very large lab to the tune of hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars. "The grant that we're talking about was $600,000 over five years for an average of about $125,000 to $140,000 a year,' Fauci said.
"I can't guarantee everything that is going on in the Wuhan lab, I can't do that. But it is our obligation as scientists and public health individuals to study the animal-human interface' in the aftermath of the original SARS virus in 2002," he added further.