Fauci urges US not to be ‘accusatory’ towards China over Wuhan lab as conservatives meltdown over his emails
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions CommitteeDr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions CommitteeThe nation’s top infectious disease expert doctor Anthony Fauci has urged America not to be “accusatory” towards China over the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, saying it could get them to “pull back more”.
In an interview with MSNBC’s on Thursday, Dr Fauci was asked why it was proving “so hard” to “find the source” of the outbreak that began the pandemic.
“I mean, it’s obviously in China’s interest to find out exactly what it is, and the ‘is’ of the natural theory would be to find that link, so you have to keep looking for it,” Dr Fauci said.
The doctor said that the country “obviously” wants “openness and cooperation”. However, he noted that: “One of the ways you can get it is don’t be accusatory.”
Dr Fauci said: “Try to get both a forensic, a scientific, and an investigational approach. I think the accusatory part about it is only going to get them to pull back even more.”
In response, host Willie Geist asked whether it was also in China’s interest for the country to “hide” if they had played a different role in the spread of the virus.
“I don’t want to be speculating on that,” Dr Fauci said in response. It will get completely taken out of context and go into the Twitter world like crazy It’s not helpful.”
The comments come amid complex and deepening tensions surrounding the origins of the disease, cases of which were first reported in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.
Until recently, the federal government had publicly sidelined theories that the outbreak had begun as a result of an accidental leak from a lab as hugely far fetched.
However, amid the Chinese government’s ongoing refusal to openly cooperate with international investigations and calls for a deeper probe from the World Health Organisation, the concerns have gained more traction.
Kristian Andersen, the expert who made a comment in the email, has insisted that the correspondence is a “clear example of the scientific process” and maintained later research regarding the issue debunked the lab leak theory.
The scientific community is heavily divided over the controversial theory, with certain experts saying it is “entirely plausible” while others argue such theories “vary from not credible at all to barely credible”.
Beijing has vehemently denied the accusation and has said that Mr Biden’s call for a more thorough investigation shows the US wants “to use the epidemic to engage in stigmatisation and political manipulation, and to shirk responsibility.”
“This is to science and irresponsible to people’s lives, and moreover, it undermines the global unity of efforts to fight the epidemic,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.
Dr Fauci said in an interview with NewsNation response to the emails on Thursday that the comments were “ripe to be taken out of context” and has maintained to CNN that the most “likely origin is from an animal species to a human”.
The doctor told CNN: “I believe if you look historically, what happens in the animal human interface, that in fact the more likelihood is that you’re dealing with a jump of species.”
He noted to the broadcaster that he keeps an “open mind all the time” adding: “And that’s the reason why I have been public that we should continue to look for the origin.”
Countries across the globe are putting more pressure on China to cooperate more openly with investigations seeking to pinpoint the beginning of the pandemic, which has now led to more than 3.5 million deaths worldwide.
Other researchers have warned that focus on the controversial theory is exacerbating tensions between the two countries and risks prolonging the pandemic.
Republicans have long pushed the possibility of the lab leak theory, with Donald Trump having maintained it during his administration. Last month Mr Trump again reiterated he had “very little doubt” the theory was true.
GOP officials have also jumped on the release of Dr Fauci’s email, with House minority whip Steve Scalise saying hermes replica tissue
in the wake of the reports that there had been a “major cover up”.