As the “lab-leak” theory for COVID-19 gains increasing credibility, Dr. Anthony Fauci must answer for whether he had any role in supporting Chinese researchers who created this monster. So far, his answers aren’t exactly helping his case.
For those not following this story closely, it now appears likely that COVID-19 didn’t just happen in nature, but was the result of so-called “gain of function” research in a Wuhan lab, where scientists “spiked” a virus found in animals so it could infect humans. If true, the Chinese are directly responsible for the resulting pandemic’s massive economic and human cost.
Until just recently, the press and the “experts” – including Fauci – dismissed the lab-leak theory as a Trump-concocted conspiracy. Not anymore, and now there’s the question of Fauci’s involvement. What have we learned since? Nothing that exonerates him, that’s for sure. Here are the highlights:
Fauci’s Ever-Changing Story
Over the course of three weeks, Fauci has changed his tune three times when it comes to the question of whether he helped funnel taxpayer money to gain-of-function research.
When Sen. Rand Paul pressed Fauci on the question on May 11, he categorically denied it.
“The NIH has not ever, and does not now, fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute,” Fauci said.
Two weeks later, he told Sen. John Kennedy that he had no way of knowing whether the Chinese used grant money from the NIH for such studies.
Then last week Fauci dismissed the grant – which he said totaled $600,000 over five years – as insignificant.
“The Wuhan lab is a very large lab to the tune of hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars. The grant that we’re talking about was … an average of about $125,000 to $140,000 a year.”
In other words, in a matter of days, Fauci went from “no, not ever” to “so what.”
In any case, his denials seem to fall apart when you consider that a 2015 paper by one of the top Wuhan scientists about gain-of-function research credited “grants from the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease and the National Institute of Aging of the US National Institutes of Health.”
And, thanks to the work of Judicial Watch, we’ve learned that Fauci apparently lowballed the amount of taxpayer money sent to Wuhan by more than $200,000.
“These new documents show that funding for the Wuhan Institute was greater than the public has been told,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. The total listed is $826,277.
Fauci’s Behind-the-Scenes Effort To Deny The Lab-Leak Theory
Meanwhile, among the Fauci emails that have come to light are those showing how he was actively working to cast doubt on the lab-leak theory. The emails, according to the Washington Examiner, show that he “appeared to provide guidance to scientists who pushed back against the lab-leak hypothesis, and he shared articles with reporters and other health officials that critiqued the possibility that COVID-19 may have escaped from a Chinese government lab.”
Why would he do this, rather than demand that China open its lab to outside investigators, if not to cover his own culpability?
The lab-leak doubters certainly were grateful to have Fauci in their corner, with one emailing him to say: “We deeply appreciate your efforts in steering and messaging.”
Another wrote to Fauci: “I just wanted to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. From my perspective, your comments are brave, and coming from your trusted voice, will help dispel the myths being spun around the virus’s origins.”
Fauci’s Past Support for ‘Gain of Function’ Research
Next is the fact that Fauci praised gain-of-function research in the not-too-distant past.
In a paper from 2012, he defended the research, saying that the “benefits” gained from the science “outweigh the risk” of an accidental pandemic breaking out.
“It is more likely that a pandemic would occur in nature, and the need to stay ahead of such a threat is a primary reason for performing an experiment that might appear to be risky,” his comment, which was focused on a moratorium on gain-of-function research, says.
“In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic? Scientists working in this field might say – as indeed I have said – that the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks.”
(Fauci’s comment is a perfect example of why the left’s “follow the science” mantra is so dangerously misguided.)
Fauci Benefactor Daszak’s Public And Private Statements
Then there’s the case of EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak – who collaborated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology on research funded by the NIAID. In a 2016 video discovered by The National Pulse, “Daszak appears to boast about the manipulation of ‘killer’ SARS-like coronaviruses carried out by his ‘colleagues in China’.”
“We found other coronaviruses in bats, a whole host of them, some of them looked very similar to SARS. So we sequenced the spike protein: the protein that attaches to cells. Then we … Well, I didn’t do this work, but my colleagues in China did the work. You create pseudo particles, you insert the spike proteins from those viruses, see if they bind to human cells. At each step of this, you move closer and closer to this virus could really become pathogenic in people,” he says.
Daszak was, by the way, the person who wrote to Fauci about how “brave” he was for “standing up” to that pesky lab-leak theory. He’s also the person who organized a statement issued by the influential British medical journal The Lancet in February 2020 that called the lab leak notion a conspiracy theory that will “create fear, rumors, and prejudice that jeopardize our global collaboration in the fight against this virus.”
Oh, and his group was the one to which Fauci directed more than $3 million in grant money, of which Daszak sent the $600,000 – or was it $826,000? – to Wuhan.
And, to top it off Daszak was the only American tapped by the World Health Organization for a panel that dismissed the lab leak as “extremely unlikely.” Cover-up, anyone?
The idea that Fauci knew none of this about Daszak or about the likely origins of COVID-19 is about as believable as everything else Fauci has been saying lately, which is to say, not believable at all.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board