- Fauci says there needs to be more investigation into whether or not COVID-19 was leaked from a lab.
- He previously said there was no scientific evidence to support that theory.
- New reports have prompted experts to reconsider the origin of the virus.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is facing new criticism from Chinese state media after he said there should more investigations into the origin of COVID-19, CNN reported.
The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told PolitiFact’s managing editor Katie Sanders at a fact-checking event on May 11 that he’s no longer completely convinced the coronavirus originated naturally.
“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,” Fauci said. “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.”
Outlet’s like the state-run Global Times issued critics of the US infectious disease expert following his claims.
“US elites degenerate further in morality, and Fauci is one of them,” was the headline of an opinion piece by the outlet’s editor-in-chief, Hu Xijin, this week.
Fauci had previously said there’s no scientific evidence to support the idea that the virus was engineered and escaped from a lab.
However, since March of this year, there have been several reports that have made experts call on further investigating the origins of the virus.
In March, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield told CNN he still thought the coronavirus escaped from a Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The following month, a team from the World Health Organization spent a month in Wuhan investigating the origin of the coronavirus and said a lab leak was “extremely unlikely.” However, WHO said they were unable to access China’s lab and were not given raw data.
Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that three researchers at the lab had gotten sick and went to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms in November 2019, a month before China said it found its first case.
China has consistently denied the coronavirus escaped from a lab.