Dr. Anthony Fauci rushed to China’s defense in two separate interviews — claiming the theory that COVID-19 leaked from a Wuhan laboratory is “far out” and that Americans should refrain from “pointing fingers” toward the Chinese Communist Party, despite earlier claims he was keeping an “open mind” about the virus’ origin.
Fauci repeated his claim that he was keeping “an open mind” that the virus may have been man-made, before throwing cold water on the possibility later in the same CNN interview.
“The idea, I think, is quite far-fetched that the Chinese deliberately engineered something so that they could kill themselves, as well as other people. I think that’s a bit far out,” he said.
Questions about what Fauci knew and when regarding the lab leak theory have swirled this week since thousands of pages of his emails were posted online by BuzzFeed News, which obtained them through the Freedom of Information Act. They include how he was warned that COVID may have been engineered.
In one of the emails, the president of the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance wrote to Fauci in April 2020 to thank him for voicing support of the theory that the coronavirus began naturally rather than escaping from the Wuhan lab.
EcoHealth Alliance had funneled millions of dollars in federal grant money to the Wuhan lab.
The “far-fetched” remark came when Fauci was asked during his CNN appearance about an email exchange with Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, on April 16, 2020.
Collins wrote that the “conspiracy theory gains momentum,” referring to the Wuhan lab, but much of the rest of the email was redacted.
CNN’s John Berman asked Fauci if he recalled what information was blocked out.
“They only took about 10,000 emails from me, of course I remember. I remember all 10,000 of them. Give me a break,” Fauci quipped.
“I don’t remember what’s in that redacted, but the idea I think is quite far-fetched that the Chinese deliberately engineered something so that they could kill themselves as well as other people. I think that’s a bit far out, John,” he said.
In another Thursday morning interview on MSNBC, Fauci insisted that Americans should not “be accusatory” and avoid “pointing fingers” toward the Chinese Communist Party, claiming “It’s obviously in China’s interests” to understand the virus’ origins, without elaborating.
“It’s obviously in China’s interests 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,” he said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“I mean, obviously, you want openness and cooperation. One of the ways you can get it is don’t be accusatory. 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. We’ve got to do it in a combination of diplomacy, scientific forensic investigation.”
“We’re seeing a lot of, you know — I don’t even want to describe it — a lot of pointing of fingers and things like that. Keep an open mind and go after the truth,” he said.