Fauci calls on China to release medical records of Wuhan researchers
Anthony Fauci is calling on China to release medical records of researchers at a laboratory in Wuhan, China, that reportedly became sick with COVID-19-like symptoms prior to the pandemic.
In an interview with the Financial Times published Friday, Fauci said the records could help resolve the debate over the origins of the virus, particularly if it was the result of a laboratory leak.
“I would like to see the medical records of the three people who are reported to have got sick in 2019,” Fauci told the news outlet. “Did they really get sick, and if so, what did they get sick with?”
Fauci also called for the records of miners that got sick years ago after entering a cave. According to The Washington Post, six miners became sick with a viral-induced pneumonia after entering a bat cave.
The nation’s top infectious diseases expert said, “It is entirely conceivable that the origins of Sars-Cov-2 was in that cave and either started spreading naturally or went through the lab.”
The theory that COVID-19 may have leaked from a lab has gained new attention in recent weeks. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that several scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick with flu-like symptoms in November 2019, before the pandemic spread.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said late last month that the intelligence community isn’t exactly sure how the virus has transmitted but has “coalesced around two likely scenarios: either it emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals or it was a laboratory accident.”
But “while two elements of the IC [intelligence community] lean toward the former scenario and one leans more toward the latter — each with low or moderate confidence — the majority of elements within the IC do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other.”
President Biden has directed the intelligence community to “redouble their efforts” to come up with a conclusion on the virus’s origins.