Shellenberger: Internal Chats Contradict Narrative of Anti-Lab Leak Paper Fauci Cited

On Tuesday’s broadcast of Hill.TV’s “Rising,” journalist Michael Shellenberger discussed his new report with Alex Gutentag, Leighton Woodhouse, and Matt Taibbi on the internal communications by authors of the “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2” article arguing against the lab leak that was cited by Dr. Anthony Fauci and stated that the communications show that even after the article was published, some of those who wrote the paper actually viewed the lab leak as more probable than the paper indicated.

Shellenberger stated, “[W]hat they show, I think the most dramatic thing, is that they did not think that the zoonotic spillover from bats, to pangolins, to humans, they did not think that they had proven that in their private correspondence. And yet, when you read the Nature Medicine article, it suggests a high degree of confidence in that spillover. So, I think it’s pretty damning. We ran with a headline that says that they misled Congress. I think that’s accurate and fair.”

He added that “long after they had published this Proximal [Origin] piece…all the way into mid-April, [Kristian] Andersen, the main author, was saying that he thought the lab leak was still very likely.”

According to the report, in April 2020, Andersen said, “I’m still not fully convinced that no culture was involved. We also can’t fully rule out engineering (for basic research).” And that Wuhan Institute of Virology virologist Shi Zhengli “didn’t do any GOF work” but she “did A LOT of work that involved isolating and culturing SARS-like viruses from bats,” and that is “the main reason I have been so concerned about the ‘culture’ scenario.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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