Fauci Asks Beijing To Release Medical Records Of Wuhan Lab Workers Who Fell Sick In 2019
Dr. Anthony Fauci has called on the Chinese government to release medical records of nine people, including three researchers who worked at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and fell ill weeks before the first reported case of Covid-19, as it might provide vital information on the origins of the Covid-19 outbreak amid speculation that the coronavirus may have leaked out from the Wuhan lab.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Fauci said he would like to see the medical records of three people from the Wuhan lab who got sick in November 2019, according to a U.S. intelligence report.
Fauci has asked Beijing to also release the medical records of six miners who fell ill in 2012 after entering a bat cave—three of whom died—as scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology later visited the cave to collect samples from the bats.
Fauci noted that he feels it’s overwhelmingly likely that the virus jumped to humans from animals but added that investigations need to continue until a possibility is proven.
Fauci also pointed out that even if the Wuhan lab researchers did have Covid-19, there is a possibility they could have simply contracted it from the general public, but that could only be clarified through further investigation.
Fauci told the FT: “I have always felt that the overwhelming likelihood — given the experience we have had with Sars, Mers, Ebola, HIV, bird flu, the swine flu pandemic of 2009 — was that the virus jumped species,” he said. “But we need to keep on investigating until a possibility is proven.”
Fauci pushed back against the idea that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), where he serves as director, might bear any responsibility for the outbreak because the organization sent funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He said: “Are you really saying that we are implicated because we gave a multibillion-dollar institution $120,000 a year for bat surveillance?”
The origin of the Covid-19 outbreak is still unknown, with scientists, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and politicians pushing for a new, more thorough investigation into how it emerged.. An investigation led by the WHO earlier this year zeroed in on animal markets as a probable source. Several scientists, including Fauci, believe that the virus probably jumped from bats to humans through an intermediate animal host. However, the lab leak theory—initially pushed by fringe groups—has seen a rise in mainstream interest after President Joe Biden last week ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to examine the origin of the pandemic. The White House has noted that two branches of the intelligence services believe the virus was transmitted naturally, while another branch believes it came from the Wuhan lab. The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China in late 2019 and many believe it may have originated from the city’s live animal markets. The Chinese government, however, has tried to push its own theory that the virus was imported into the country through frozen food.