Fauci and the Case for Lab Leak

Fauci and the Case for Lab Leak 4On June 3, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) held a hearing with Dr. Anthony Fauci.

This was my second time in 2024 participating in a meeting with Fauci.

Fauci was a leading public health official during the pandemic, as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Fauci was looked to by many of the American public and news media organizations as a trusted source to navigate the virus.

What’s less known about Fauci is his agency’s role in coronavirus research that was conducted before the pandemic.

I have been dedicated to getting evidence on the origins of COVID-19.

As discussed in a previous column, I participated in a hearing with EcoHealth Alliance President, Dr. Peter Daszak.

Two weeks after the hearing with Daszak, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it would suspend EcoHealth from receiving any federal funds for its projects and has proposed debarment of the company.

I believe my exposure of Daszak’s lies may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back on EcoHealth.

However, government agencies, particularly NIAID, who were allocating taxpayer-funded research grants to EcoHealth, were not adequately monitoring their activities.

According to Politico, Fauci’s recent testimony was his first public appearance on Capitol Hill since retiring at the end of 2022.

As I have discussed, the makeup of the virus is unique. SARS-COVID-2 contained a furin cleavage site with a twelve-nucleotide insertion, highly unusual features for a bat virus that purportedly comes from nature.

The furin cleavage site is what made the virus so contagious.

A furin cleavage site had never existed before in any known SARS-like bat coronavirus, as noted by the online publishing platform Medium in an article.

The article also highlights that Wuhan was already testing MERS CoV, a related coronavirus, as early as 2018.

Another issue with the NIAID grant concerned humanized mice.

EcoHealth’s experiments in Wuhan involved infecting humanized mice with chimeric viruses. According to an MIT Technology Review report, Dr. Ralph Baric’s lab at the University of North Carolina shared his highly modified humanized mice with Wuhan. NIAID and National Institutes of Health (NIH) approved Baric’s lab to do this.

Prior to this, the Chinese did not have access to these high-tech mice.

Giving the Wuhan lab humanized mice allowed them the capability to reproduce their own mice and test viruses.

Laboratory mice can reproduce fast.

Additionally the Chinese have not turned over lab notebooks from the tests of coronaviruses on these humanized mice.

The lab notebooks were contractually required to be provided to NIAID!

And remember EcoHealth’s required September 2019 report was nearly two years late and was altered after the pandemic struck!

The Chinese were already researching Mers CoV and experimenting with adding a furin cleavage site in that virus.

Let’s examine the battle over competing theories between animal transmission and the lab leak.

For natural transmission: you must assume some unknown animal in some unknown location got a coronavirus from a bat, that virus then mutated to have a furin cleavage site with a twelve-nucleotide sequence within a few months or years, then that still unknown animal was sold at a wet market.

For lab leak: we gave sophisticated humanized mice to Wuhan to do coronavirus research for NIAID. Wuhan was working on putting a furin cleavage site into MERS CoV. And then a coronavirus with a furin cleavage site shows up in Wuhan.

Did Wuhan do non-NIAID coronavirus research?

Fauci said it was possible.

I think it’s likely.

Occam’s razor states that the theory with the fewest assumptions is usually correct.

According to that principle, a lab leak makes the most sense.

I am not saying EcoHealth, NIH or Fauci did this intentionally.

But remember that Wuhan never gave EcoHealth the lab notebooks NIAID was entitled to!

Fauci is unable to rule out the theory that COVID-19 originated from a lab leak. He could not account for other research that might be going on in China, and recognized that a lab leak was possible.

The sad truth is we gave the Chinese the tools and ability to experiment with dangerous viruses.

We did this with a Chinese lab that my investigation indicates didn’t meet U.S. safety standards.

With the tools we gave them, I believe the Chinese created one of the deadliest pathogens of the modern world.

EcoHealth is being held accountable for its negligence.

Congress should hold federal agencies that were involved accountable too.

If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at https://morgangriffith.house.gov.

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Editor’s note: the original version of this e-newsletter misquoted an article by Medium. The article notes unknown furin cleavage sites in SARS-like bat coronaviruses.

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