The United States’ leading expert on infectious diseases, Dr Anthony Fauci, has found himself in the eye of an ever-intensifying storm, ever since hundreds of his private emails were made public by two US media outlets. The emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act request shed light on Dr Fauci’s reticence on considering the possibility of a lab leak origin of COVID-19 even as the virus was priming itself to ravage the United States and the rest of the world.
The cache of emails revealed that several people, including researchers, people in US administration and intelligence, wanted to probe the role of the Chinese lab, but they were overruled by Dr Anthony Fauci and others, who had vested interests in the issue as they themselves were instrumental in US govt funding the study on the virus in the Wuhan lab.
The trove of emails brings under the scanner the role of Dr Fauci and others who are credited for fashioning America’s response to the pandemic. Dr Fauci, who was a lead member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has become a focal point of criticism after the emails correspondence revealed that he was warned of the possibility of the inorganic nature of the coronavirus in advance, but he did not do enough to address the apprehensions.
Dr Anthony Fauci has been accused of dismissing the lab leak theory during the initial assessment of the coronavirus outbreak and its origins. On 31 January 2020, Kristian Andersen, a leading infectious disease expert, who had been examining the genetic characteristics of the newly emerging SARS-CoV virus, informed the top American infectious disease expert that the virus may be engineered.
“Some of the features (potentially) look engineered,” Andersen said in an email to Dr Anthony Fauci, stating that he and other scientists “all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.”
Despite this explosive claim, Dr Fauci gave short shrift to the lab leak theory and maintained his position that the virus might have evolved from a zoonotic spillover. With the lab-leak theory gaining renewed vigour of late, Dr Fauci has recalibrated his stance on the genesis of the virus, alleging that he is open to the theory that the virus may have inorganic origins.
In a sensational disclosure, it was also revealed that Dr Anthony Fauci had strongly supported experimenting on contagious viruses and believed that manipulating and heightening their infectious potency weighed more than the risk of a laboratory accident sparking a pandemic, a report published in The Australian said.
An investigation carried out by The Weekend Australian has also confirmed Dr Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, failed to alert senior White House officials before lifting the ban on contentious “gain-of-function” research in 2017.
Peter Daszak and his organisation’s role in funding “gain of function” research at WIV
Dr Fauci has also drawn the ire of the critics for bankrolling Peter Daszak, a leading zoologist, whose non-profit was responsible for steering the US funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Daszak’s organisation, EcoHealth Alliance, had received funding of at least $3.4 million in grants from the National Institute of Health(NIH) to study coronaviruses between 2014 to 2019.
In April last year, Dr Fauci had publicly denounced claims regarding the coronavirus lab leak. In an April 2020 email published as a part of the FOIA request by Buzzfeed, Daszak conveyed ‘personal thank you’ to Dr Fauci on behalf of his staff at his organisation for pushing back on the claims that the virus might have originated from a laboratory.
“From my perspective, your comments are brave, and coming from your trusted voice, will help dispel the myths being spun around the virus’s origins,” Daszak wrote to Anthony Fauci.
Apparently, Daszak’s gratitude was in reference to Dr Fauci’s remarks on April 17, 2020, when he responded to a question from a reporter who asked the US top infectious disease expert to address the concerns regarding the Wuhan lab leak theory. Fauci had then said: “There was a study recently…where a group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists looked at the sequences there and the sequences in bats as they evolve…The mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now is totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human.”
Daszak, who has collaborated with Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, was also a part of the WHO team that spent time earlier this year to investigate the origins of the coronavirus. Instead, Daszak tried to peddle the worn-out theory that China had been using ever since the pandemic emerged in January 2020. After the completion of the investigation in China, Daszak pushed the hypothesis that the virus jumped to humans through an intermediary host species.
“It is most likely a bat or other wildlife species carrying a progenitor, or closely related virus, infected a farm animal or a person, who then carried it to the Huanan market,” Daszak had said after the WHO team conducted its investigation in Wuhan earlier this year.
After the WHO team initially ruled out the lab leak theory, only to be overruled by the agency chief, critics accused Daszak of having a conflict of interest, something which he vehemently refuses. They have accused Daszak of influencing the WHO team to dismiss the Wuhan Lab leak theory because it could have potentially incriminated him for sponsoring the institute accused of developing a synthetic virus.
In a recently published report by former NYT science editor Nicholas Wade, it was reported that Daszak had not only funded ‘gain of function’ research into coronaviruses in Wuhan, but he had also even boasted in the past about how they have made coronavirus variants in the Wuhan lab that are resistant to existing antibodies and have no vaccines yet.
Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says intelligence officials actively abetted the CCP in covering up the origins of COVID-19
In addition to this, the revelations made by the former American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently further add to the murky role of the US officials in helping China to cover up the coronavirus outbreak. Pompeo recently issued a statement, saying that the US intelligence officials did not want the world to know that China was covering up the origins of the coronavirus.
In an interview with Fox News, the former Trump administration official said there were “folks all over the intelligence community” who did not want to link the genesis of COVID-19 to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
Pompeo also alleged that his team faced bureaucratic hurdles when they attempted to declassify intelligence on the Wuhan lab and share it with the American public during the final year of the Trump administration. He said the bureaucrats were helping the Chinese Communist Party to cover its tracks, which might have resulted in several million losses of life.
In his interview, Pompeo said there were “big fights” over the declassification of intelligence on the origin of the coronavirus pandemic, and blamed officials at the National Institutes of Health for the same.
“We worked scrupulously to get the intelligence community to declassify more. [Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe] was a great partner in trying to do that, but there were folks all over the community who just didn’t want to talk about this, who wanted to stay focused on other things,” Pompeo said while speaking on The Ingraham Angle show on Fox News.
Earlier in May 2021, Pompeo had alleged that Wuhan Institute of Virology was involved in engaged in military activity alongside its civilian research amidst the renewed focus on the institute’s involvement in bequeathing the intractable contagion to the world.
“What I can say for sure is this: we know that they were engaged in efforts connected to the People’s Liberation Army inside of that laboratory, so military activity being performed alongside what they claimed was just good old civilian research,” Pompeo said on Fox & Friends Weekend.
US President orders investigation into the origins of the virus amidst debate over lab leak theory
The explosive revelations adding credence to the Wuhan lab leak theory came on the heels of the announcement made by US President Joe Biden last month. Biden had ordered intelligence officials to investigate the origins of coronavirus in earnest and report back in 90 days, suggesting that the administration was taking the lab leak theory seriously.
Biden’s decision had opened a pandora’s box as US officials, scientists, bureaucrats and other officials have now found themselves caught in a bind for allegedly suppressing the truth and glossing over the Wuhan lab leak theory that was raised by many experts earlier last year.