Fauci urges China to release medical records of Wuhan researchers

Security staff guard the Wuhan Institute of Virology

"Did they really get sick, and if so, what did they get sick with?"

And press secretary Jen Psaki said Dr Fauci had been an "undeniable asset".

In one email sent last April, an executive at a health charity thanked Dr Fauci for publicly stating that scientific evidence does not support the lab-leak theory.

The interview was preceded by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian claiming last week that the White House "doesn't care about [the] facts and truth" pertaining to the origins of the COVID-19.

Biden pledged that his administration would go ahead with efforts to prod China to "participate in a full, transparent, evidence-based worldwide investigation and to provide access to all relevant data and evidence".

Paul, as well as former President Donald Trump, have leaned into the theory that the COVID-19 pandemic started as a Wuhan-based lab leak - and not a naturally occurring animal-to-human transmission that either started or grew from a Wuhan wet market.

Fauci "didn't put an emphasis on speed of vaccine production because he thought it would take 3, 4, or maybe even 5 years to create", Trump said.

Allies of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) infectious disease specialist say Dr Fauci's messages show nothing more than a dedicated public servant navigating the early days of a once-in-a-century pandemic. None of the branches have a high level of confidence in their conclusion.

The lab-leak theory regarding the novel coronavirus - that it escaped from a lab in China's Wuhan (intentionally or otherwise) - has suddenly gained traction more than a year after it was declared a "conspiracy theory" by the United States mainstream media, debunked by top scientists including that Fauci and censored by the tech-giants like Twitter, Facebook et al.

The Kentucky Republican also said Daszak can not be part of any investigation into COVID-19 origins. He pointed out that the Trump administration said publicly in January that U.S. intelligence believed the Wuhan scientists had fallen sick with symptoms of the virus.

Asher added that while he respected Fauci, he was frustrated at what he perceived as a lack of interest at NIAID and its parent agency, the National Institutes of Health, into pursuing the possibility that the virus had leaked from the lab.

The POTUS added that although the USA intelligence community had "coalesced around two likely scenarios", they had yet to conclude whether the coronavirus emanated from contact between humans and animals, or from a research laboratory in China's Wuhan Institute of Virology.

"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. "What we need then is to have an evidence-based, expert-driven investigation", Collins underscored.

He dismissed the idea that his organisation might bear any responsibility for the pandemic, however, saying: "Are you really saying that we are implicated because we gave a multibillion-dollar institution $120,000 a year for bat surveillance?"

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