Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTrump predicts US will have coronavirus vaccine by year’s endIs California nearing its ‘Boston tea party moment’?April’s dumbest and most dangerous coronavirus declarationsMORE, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, shot down theories that the virus was man-made or released accidentally from a Chinese lab in a new interview.
Speaking with National Geographic, Fauci explained that most researchers were leaning against the possibility that the virus was artificially created.
“If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats, and what’s out there now is very, very strongly leaning toward this [virus] could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated the way the mutations have naturally evolved,” Fauci said. “A number of very qualified evolutionary biologists have said that everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that it evolved in nature and then jumped species.”
When asked specifically if the virus could have been accidentally released by the lab, even if it wasn’t man-made to begin with, Fauci explained that such a possibility would mean that the virus was spreading outside of the lab anyway.
“[T]hat means it was in the wild to begin with. That’s why I don’t get what they’re talking about [and] why I don’t spend a lot of time going in on this circular argument,” Fauci said.
Fauci, along with coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, have largely served as the administration’s public set of experts amid the coronavirus outbreak, putting them in roles that sometimes clash with sometimes factually incorrect information offered by other administration officials including President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump predicts virus death toll could reach 100,000 in the USPence says he should have worn mask during Mayo Clinic visitTrump says next coronavirus relief bill has to include payroll tax cutMORE.
Several top administration officials including Trump and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDHS report accuses China of intentionally downplaying coronavirus threat: APHundreds of lawmakers urge Pompeo to take ‘increased diplomatic action’ to renew Iran arms embargoTime to restart nuclear arms negotiations with RussiaMORE have raised the possibility that the virus was man-made by Chinese researchers or accidentally released by a lab in Wuhan, China in recent days, despite statements from Fauci and other top health experts including the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring otherwise.
Pompeo was confronted about the discrepancy by ABC’s Martha Raddatz over the weekend, and seemingly insisted that he agreed with both conclusions.
There is enormous evidence that thats where this began, Pompeo told ABC, adding: [T]he best experts so far seem to think it was man-made. I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point.
Raddatz then said that most experts agreed that the virus was not man-made, to which Pompeo responded: Thats right. I agree with that.