Former New York Rep. Peter King challenged Dr. Anthony Fauci's credibility Friday on Newsmax regarding the doctor's dismissal of the lab leak hypothesis.
Appearing on "American Agenda," King, a Republican, focused on the idea that Fauci shouldn't be fired for his actions, but he should be investigated as to why he did them.
"He didn't disclose that there was a real possibility [COVID-19] came from the lab, and by concealing, that to me, it really puts questions on his credibility, not just on his ability but his credibility,'' King said. ''So I think that should be investigated. ... And if it does turn out that he intentionally misled for some reason, I think he would have to be moved."
In May 2020, when the coronavirus was in full swing, Fauci did an interview with National Geographic in which he dismissed the lab leak hypothesis, saying the origins of COVID-19 likely came out of nature.
"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. ... Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species," Fauci said.
"I don't think there's a chance that this virus is just going to disappear," Fauci added. "It's going to be around, and if given the opportunity, it will resurge."
But now, the comments a year later paint a different picture. According to a senior administration official, the Wuhan lab had severe safety concerns where gain of function research was allegedly taking place. Gain of function is a means to produce a virus like COVID-19.
"This was just a peek under a curtain of an entire galaxy of activity, including labs and military labs in Beijing and Wuhan playing around with coronaviruses in ACE2 mice in unsafe labs," the senior administration official said, according to Josh Rogin from Politico. "It suggests we are getting a peek at a body of activity that isn't understood in the West or even has precedent here."
King exhibited some frustration in the interview, saying that Fauci should have been more honest with the public regarding COVID-19's possible origins.
"I think he had the obligation to let people know that there was certainly at least the possibility that the virus came from the laboratory," King said. "You shouldn't have basically dismissed those reports the way he did. Getting going back over his record ... you tell President Trump there's nothing to worry about, then suddenly, a week later, this became a major crisis.
''But I think what does bother me the most is the way he just casually dismissed any talk at all that this came from a lab. And that's important because if it came from the lab, it could've made it easier or less difficult to determine the cause, to actually do more investigation of the virus itself. So I'm not saying you should be fired. Now. I think there's should be a very serious investigation and accounting, and then make a decision."
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