New emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show Dr. Anthony Fauci and top government officials publicly downplayed the possibility that COVID-19 originated in a lab in Wuhan, China, but considered warning the FBI and UK military intelligence about a potential lab leak.
The unredacted emails obtained by reporter Jimmy Tobias show Fauci, outgoing director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and chief advisor to the White House, was deeply concerned about the possibility of a lab leak despite publically stating on numerous occasions that all signs indicate the virus “evolved in nature and then jumped species.”
The emails include communications between Fauci, scientist Jeremy Farrar of the Wellcome Trust (a partner of the World Economic Forum), researcher Kristian Andersen, the former director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Francis Collins, and others who took a public stand against the lab origin theory before examining its validity. Their communications show a concerted effort to provide “counter-arguments” to the lab-leak “conspiracy theory” while suspecting the virus escaped from the Wuhan lab.
In an email on Feb. 1, 2020, Fauci proposed the idea of informing the FBI and MI5 about Andersen’s “concern” regarding the furin cleavage site on the spike protein of COVID-19. Supporters of the lab leak theory argue the furin cleavage site mutated in a way that made it most likely to be a product of gain-of-function (GoF) research, which was being conducted at the Wuhan lab when COVID-19 broke out in China.
Andersen also voiced concern about “serial passage” being conducted with coronaviruses in a BSL-2 level lab in Wuhan — which is significantly less secure than a maximum-security BSL-4 level lab. Serial passage involves repeatedly infecting a host with a particular virus to induce mutations without manually genetically modifying it.
According to The Washington Post, some proponents of the lab leak believe that serial passage may have caused the furin cleavage site mutation responsible for COVID-19’s high transmissibility.
In an email on Feb. 4, 2020, Farrar refers to the U.S.-funded research conducted at the Wuhan lab as the “Wild West” and was already aware of the “serial passage” in humanized transgenic mice being undertaken at the BSL-2 lab.
In a Feb. 5, 2020 email, Andersen, who later “did a complete 180” and began referring to the lab leak as a “conspiracy theory,” stated he believed the furin cleavage site mutation was likely the result of serial passage.
“It’s what’s shifted me to thinking that the insert of the furin site is the result of cell culture passage,” Andersen wrote to Farrar. Subsequent emails show Fauci and Collins raising questions about serial passage and the evolution of the virus.
Fauci and other government experts have repeatedly denied participating in (GoF) research with coronaviruses, yet the NIH in 2021 admitted the agency funded (GoF) experiments on bat coronaviruses in China. Grant money used for the controversial experiment came from the NIAID and was awarded to EcoHealth Alliance with sub-awards to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The principal investigator on the grant is EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak, who played a vital role in the “search” for COVID-19’s origin.