America’s top public health expert Dr Anthony Fauci said he is “not convinced” COVID-19 developed naturally, and called for an open investigation into the virus’ origins.
When Fauci was asked during an interview if he is still confident that the virus developed naturally, he said, “No actually. I am not convinced about that, I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened.”
A report in Fox News quoted Fauci as saying, “Certainly, the people who investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals, but it could have been something else, and we need to find that out. So, you know, that’s the reason why I said I’m perfectly in favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus.”
Calling for an investigation in what went on in China, he said that he do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done but he is in favour of further investigation.
The report said that Trump administration officials and Republicans have long argued there is a high chance of Covid-19 resulting from a lab leak.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the lab leak theory “extremely unlikely” last week. But, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO chief, has said the research team’s assessment on whether the virus entered the human population following a laboratory incident was not “extensive enough” and requires further investigation.
Fauci’s more recent remarks show an evolution in the doctor’s beliefs on coronavirus’ origins over the past year. In May 2020, Fauci had largely dismissed the lab leak theory.
He had earlier told National Geographic, “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.