Dr. Anthony Fauci’s approval rating is tanking. Polls show the numbers of Americans stating they “do not trust Fauci” are increasing. Forty-six percent of Americans want Fauci to resign. Against this ominous backdrop, Republican leaders on the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees demand Fauci explain the contents of damning emails released Tuesday.
Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) included excerpts from the emails in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
Jordan and Comer allege the emails reveal that “National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Dr. Anthony Fauci knew that COVID-19 may have been intentionally modified and leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” according to Newsmax.
The letter highlights a February 1, 2020, conference call during which the origin of the virus was discussed. Dr. Fauci and former National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins were on that call.
The letter reads, “It was on this conference call that Drs. Fauci and Collins were first warned that COVID-19 may have leaked from the WIV and, further, may have been intentionally genetically manipulated.”
Fox reports that “other scientists participated in the call,” and at least four followed up the call by writing a paper titled, “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2.” That paper, sent to Fauci and Collins just three days after the conference call, strangely does not mention the possibility or probability the virus originated in a lab.
The author added, “It is unclear if either Dr. Fauci or Dr. Collins ever passed these warnings along to other government officials or if they simply ignored them.”
Republicans have long questioned Dr. Fauci’s involvement in gain-of-function research and inappropriate financial ties relative to the virus, vaccines, and work at the Wuhan lab. Reps. Jordan and Comer are now questioning if discussion on gain-of-function work or a lab leak ceased because of undue influence from Fauci and Collins.
“It is unclear what, if any, new evidence was presented or if the underlying science changed in that short period of time, but after speaking with Drs. Fauci and Collins, the authors abandoned their belief COVID-19 was the result of a laboratory leak,” they wrote.
Comer and Jordan assert that the emails contain incriminating notes from the February 1, 2020, conference call. One, for example, from Dr. Jeremy Farrar to Collins, Fauci, and current NIH Acting Director Lawrence Tabak stated that “a likely explanation” could involve “accidentally creating a virus that would be primed for rapid transmission between humans[.]”
Fauci has publicly rejected that conclusion many times. In a high-profile interview with National Geographic in May of 2020, Fauci claimed: “[The virus] 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.”
However, notes from the conference call indicate that scientists did not agree. Dr. Farrar wrote:
“I really can’t think of a plausible natural scenario where you get from the bat virus or one very similar to it to nCoV where you insert exactly 4 amino acids 12 nucleotides that all have to be added at the exact same time to gain this function — that and you don’t change any other amino acid in S2? I just can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature.”
Dr. Collins appears to try to guide the narrative by responding that he was “coming around to the view that a natural origin is more likely.”
Jordan and Comer assert that by April, Collins, Fauci, Tabak, and others were emailing each other their concerns of growing whispers that the virus was created in a lab and purposely leaked, referring to that line of thinking as a “very destructive conspiracy.”
“I hoped the Nature Medicine article on the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 would settle this. But probably didn’t get much visibility,” Collins wrote.
Fauci wrote back: “I would not do anything about this right now. It is a shiny object that will go away in time.”
According to Jordan and Comer, the same day Fauci wrote that email, Fauci mentioned the Nature Medicine article while speaking at the White House, asserting that it was “likely in an effort to further stifle the hypothesis COVID-19 leaked from the WIV.”
Comer and Jordan are calling for Fauci to appear for a transcribed interview to discuss concerns that key leaders obscured the truth and inappropriately directed the narrative.
Rep. James Comer tweeted: “Oversight Republicans have secured more @NIH emails showing what we’ve long suspected: Fauci took the Wuhan Lab Leak much more seriously than he publicly let on. It’s time for America’s most famous doctor to sit for a transcribed interview with @GOPoversight.”
Oversight Republicans have secured more @NIH emails showing what we’ve long suspected: Fauci took the Wuhan Lab Leak much more seriously than he publicly let on.
— Rep. James Comer (@RepJamesComer) January 11, 2022
In her Monday program, Fox’s Laura Ingraham stated that those in the administration pushing the COVID-19 narrative are “being exposed as a group of power-hungry bureaucrats who proclaim to be the arbiters of science, while instead continuing to ignore science to further take control and violate the autonomy of the American people.”
Fox News reports that the NIH and NIAID did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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