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Dr. Anthony Fauci urged Americans to avoid “pointing fingers” at China while searching for the origins of the coronavirus pandemic — and suggested that Beijing would be a willing willing partner in the investigation — during a Thursday interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“It’s obviously in China’s interest to find out exactly” how the pandemic began, Fauci said. “Obviously you want openness and cooperation. One of the ways you can get it is, don’t be accusatory….I think the accusatory part about it is only going to get them to pull back even more.”
Fauci refuses to go after China for destroying evidence & refusing to cooperate with investigators; says the U.S. shouldn’t be “accusatory” as it will make them “pull back more” pic.twitter.com/BkoFdj4c7l
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 3, 2021
Fauci’s comments come amid renewed scrutiny into the possibility that the coronavirus leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan. However, Fauci said Americans should refrain from looking to immediately blame anyone for the initial outbreak.
We should investigate this “in a way that the people of good faith, not who want to do blame, but people [of] good faith are really trying to find out what the origin is,” Fauci said. “And we’re seeing a lot of, I don’t even want to describe it, a lot of pointing of fingers and things like that.”
Host Willie Geist then asked Fauci whether it would in fact be in China’s interests to hide the origins of the pandemic, if the coronavirus indeed leaked from a lab.
“You know, I don’t want to be speculating on that because every time I say something like that—and you know it as well as I—it will get completely taken out of context and go into the Twitter world like crazy,” Fauci replied.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology, the laboratory considered as a potential point of origin for the pandemic, has not granted public access to the raw data on the earliest COVID cases. The WIV received $3.4 million in U.S. grants between 2014 and 2019 for the purpose of researching bat coronaviruses.
A researcher whose non-profit organization funneled the grants to the WIV thanked Fauci in April 2020 for publicly dismissing the lab-leak theory.
“I just wanted to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Peter Daszak, head of the EcoHealth Alliance, wrote to Fauci in an email.