National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Anthony Fauci and other scientists "worked to enshrine the natural-origin theory" of COVID-19 despite some thinking "a lab-related incident was likelier," according to a report from Vanity Fair released on Friday.
Vanity Fair reviewed over 100,000 leaked documents for the report, and found that "Fauci and a small group of scientists, including [Kristian] Andersen and [Robert] Garry, worked to enshrine the natural-origin theory during confidential discussions in early February 2020, even though several of them privately expressed that they felt a lab-related incident was likelier."
The magazine also notes that "just days before those discussions began … Dr. Robert Redfield, a virologist and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), had urged Fauci privately to vigorously investigate both the lab and natural hypotheses. He was then excluded from the ensuing discussions — learning only later that they'd even occurred."
Redfield told Vanity Fair that "their goal was to have a single narrative."
"Why top scientists linked arms to tamp down public speculation about a lab leak — even when their emails, revealed via FOIA requests and congressional review, suggest they held similar concerns — remains unclear,” the magazine wrote.
Stanford microbiologist David Relman said some "scientists seem almost hell-bent on naming the Huanan market as the site of the origin of the pandemic; and some members of the media seem more than happy to embrace these conclusions without careful examination. This issue is far too important to be decided in the public domain by unreviewed studies, incomplete and unconfirmed data, and unsubstantiated proclamations."
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