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Fauci Denies Suppressing COVID Lab Leak Theory Before US House Panel

Fauci, lab leak theory, COVID-19,

Anthony Fauci has strongly denied suppressing the theory that COVID-19 originated from a lab leak in China. The top US infectious disease expert has told lawmakers he never influenced research on the origins of the virus during his time in office.

Fauci dismisses lab leak theory

Fauci also reiterated that he believes the most likely origin of the pandemic was animal-to-human transmission.

“I’ve also been very, very clear, and said multiple times, that I don’t think the concept of there being a lab (leak) is inherently a conspiracy theory.”

“What is conspiracy is the kind of distortions of that particular subject, like it was a lab leak, and I was parachuted into the CIA like Jason Bourne and told the CIA that they should really not be talking about a lab leak.”

Fauci testifies before US House panel

Fauci was speaking before a U.S. House of Representatives panel. He was addressing allegations of research interference for the first time since January. He had then testified during a 14-hour hearing which was held behind closed doors.

The committee, set up to discover the origins of the virus, has uncovered emails showing top NIH officials trying to hide public records by evading Freedom of Information Act requests.

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The private emails suggest some officials deleted correspondence and used private emails to get around public record laws. This included a long-time Fauci adviser and aide.

Fauci dismisses allegations by his aide

Fauci downplayed how closely he worked with the adviser, David Morens. He said he was unsure if Morens even reported to him directly and that their offices were in different buildings.

He also denied ever using a private email address to discuss government business. Morens had told the subcommittee he may have sent emails discussing government business to Fauci’s personal email address.

Fauci retired in December 2022 after 54 years at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). He also served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

He described the harassment and death threats he and his family have received. Fauci was vilified by many Republican lawmakers, over his pandemic stances, and championing of COVID vaccines. There were accusations, without evidence, of him being involved in a massive cover up related to the global health crisis.

With inputs from Reuters