Fauci Admits He's 'Not Convinced' COVID-19 Developed Naturally, Could Have Leaked From Lab

Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP

It’s time to stop pussy-footing around all of the questions surrounding the origin of COVID-19 and deferring to the Oracle of Public Health, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and start demanding real, scientifically proven, independently verifiable answers about the origins of the pandemic that’s killed 3,000,000 people, wrecked the mental health and financial stability of millions, and changed the trajectory of all of our lives. It seems that we might finally be on the path to getting those answers, and in large part, we have Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to thank.

During a Senate hearing on May 11, Sen. Paul grilled Fauci about NIH/NIAID funding of gain-of-function research (a/k/a “Dual-Use Research of Concern) in coronaviruses at Wuhan Institute of Virology, and Fauci gave provably false answers to the Senator’s questions. When asked whether “the COVID-19 virus could not have occurred by serial passage in a laboratory,” though, Fauci wasn’t quite so adamant. He said:

“I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done, and I’m fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China.”

That raised a few eyebrows since Fauci has repeatedly said that all of the scientific evidence pointed to the virus “evolv[ing] in nature and then jumping species.”

A surprising chain of events was somehow set in motion that day, bringing us to a point where PolitiFact had to retract their own fact-checking of Tucker Carlson’s reporting on the origins of COVID-19 – based on Fauci’s comments at a PolitiFact event titled “United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking.”

Say what?

Yep. At PolitiFact’s event, advertised as “four days of forward-thinking conversation about the role of facts in our lives,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said he’s not convinced that the virus developed naturally and that “we should continue to investigate what went on in China.” (More on that PolitiFact event later.)

Fauci’s comments – given just a few hours after his Senate testimony – were in response to a question from PolitiFact’s Katie Sanders, who asked:

“There’s a lot of cloudiness around the origins of COVID-19 still, so I wanted to ask, are you still confident that it developed naturally?”

Displaying a level of intellectual curiosity heretofore unseen in him by the American public, Fauci replied:

“No, actually. I am not convinced about that. I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened.”

“Certainly, the people who investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals, but it could have been something else, and we need to find that out. So, you know, that’s the reason why I said I’m perfectly in favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus,” he continued.

Two days after Fauci’s dust-up with Sen. Paul, a group of 18 prominent virologists – including Dr. Ralph Baric – released an open letter calling for an investigation into a possible lab leak origin of COVID-19. The next week, the GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee released a report stating that there is “significant circumstantial evidence” that the virus was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and CDC Director Rochelle Wolensky also voiced doubt about the natural development of the virus.

As many of us here at RedState have written in the past few weeks, something stinks over at NIH/NIAID. It looks like we’re about to find out just what that is.

(This piece was edited post-publication to correct a typographical error.)