Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House's chief medical adviser who was tasked with shepherding the country through the pandemic, acknowledged this week that COVID-19 might have been created in a lab and subsequently leaked to the public.
Fauci's latest statement — through an interview with The Washington Post — lends credibility to the theory of a laboratory in Wuhan, China, artificially creating the COVID-19 virus.
Within this hypothetical process, Fauci believes an animal-to-human spillover remains the most likely scenario.
"There's also the possibility, and that's the reason why we all need to keep an open mind that we don't know precisely what the origin is. It could have been something like studying a virus that they got out of the environment and perhaps ... leaked out into the community," Fauci told The Post.
"I don't think that's what happened, but my mind is completely open to any possibility," added Fauci, who's set to retire from his leadership position at the end of December.
Instead of the COVID-19 virus being created through artificial means, Fauci theorizes the COVID-19 virus naturally derived from an animal or mammal — such as a bat.
Fauci also criticized Chinese officials for allowing wild animals into a market in Wuhan when it was dangerous for humans, "citing photographic evidence of the animals at the markets" early in the pandemic period in 2020, according to The Post.
A number of House Republicans, including Reps. James Comer of Kentucky and Jim Jordan of Ohio, have pledged to conduct extensive oversight hearings with Fauci — and others who might possess intimate knowledge of COVID-19's origin — when Congress convenes in early January.
In October, a Republican report concluded the virus most likely originated in a lab. However, it was "impossible" to know for sure, since the Chinese government refused to cooperate with that investigation.
Fauci has indicated in previous interviews that he plans to oblige the House Republicans investigating the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, the Republican attorneys general of two states — Missouri's Eric Schmitt and Louisiana's Jeff Landry — reportedly interviewed Fauci for seven hours, as part of a lawsuit alleging Fauci and other White House officials "leaned on social media companies" to curb debate about COVID-19 during the pandemic.
"One thing is clear from the 7 hour deposition of Dr. Fauci today," Schmitt, a U.S. senator-elect in Missouri, wrote on Twitter. "When Fauci speaks — social media censors."
Two days prior, Schmitt tweeted:
"Some takeaways from the deposition of Fauci:
- "Fauci knew the Lab Leak theory had merit but it'd come back to him & sought to immediately discredit it
- "He defended lockdowns
- "The rest of us 'don't have the ability' to determine what's best for ourselves."
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