Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said there may be a natural explanation for COVID-19 during an appearance on CNN Saturday.
The Senate unanimously voted to declassify intelligence related to the origins of COVID-19 on March 1. The “COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023” was introduced by Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Mike Braun after an official report from the Energy Department concluded that the COVID-19 virus came from a lab leak.
“A lab leak could be that someone was out in the wild maybe looking for different types of viruses in bats, got infected, went into a lab, and was being studied in a lab, and then came out of the lab,” Fauci said when questioned on a lab leak hypothesis of COVID-19 origins. (RELATED: State Department Reportedly Flagged Twitter Accounts For Pushing Lab Leak Theory, Docs Show)
“But if that’s the definition of lab leak, then that’s still a natural occurrence. The other possibility is someone takes a virus from the environment that doesn’t actually spread very well in humans, and manipulates it a bit, and accidentally it escapes or accidentally infects someone and then you get an outbreak.”
A March 6 memo from the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic claims Fauci was behind a paper aimed at “disproving” the lab leak theory of COVID-19 origin. Emails show that Fauci was part of a group of scientists assembled to disprove the theory.
Fauci has previously cast doubt on the lab leak theory, despite multiple official reports indicating its likelihood. Fauci mocked Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan during a Fox News appearance in March for claiming he censored discussion of the lab leak theory. He also denied freezing out former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield for believing the lab leak theory.