Poll: Only 45 Percent Trust Scientists on Coronavirus Origins Theory

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci wears a lab-themed face mask while talking to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on April 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. Federal health agencies called for a pause in the administration of Johnson & …
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Only forty-five percent of polled adults trust scientists regarding the coronavirus origins theory, according to a Monday I&I/TIPP poll.

“How much trust do you place in scientists… coronavirus origin” theory, the poll asked.

Overall, only 45 percent said they trust scientists. Democrats, however, are more likely to trust scientists than Republicans (64-28 percent). Independents mark lower than the overall number at 41 percent.

The poll also asked respondents how much trust they have in scientists regarding “vaccine safety.” Sixty-one percent trust scientists’ vaccine safety, almost perfectly matching “the share of the U.S. population currently vaccinated: 63%,” the poll noted.

More specifically, 42 percent of Republicans trust scientists regarding vaccine safety, while Democrats marked at 79 percent. Fifty-seven percent of independents also trust scientists’ judgment of vaccine safety.

The poll was taken before a report revealed the United States partly funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Communist China. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a scientist and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, denied in May the National Institute of Health (NIH) funded such gain-of-function research:

This photo taken on February 6, 2020 shows a laboratory technician working on samples from people to be tested for the new coronavirus at "Fire Eye" laboratory in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. - BGI Group, a genome sequencing company based in southern China, said it opened on February 5 a lab in Wuhan able to test up to 10,000 people per day for the virus. The official Chinese death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose on February 7 to 636, with the government saying total infections had climbed past 30,000. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

This photo taken on February 6, 2020 shows a lab technician working on samples from people to be tested for the new coronavirus at “Fire Eye” laboratory in Wuhan (STR/AFP via Getty Images).

“The bat coronavirus grant provided the EcoHealth Alliance with a total of $3.1 million, including $599,000 that the Wuhan Institute of Virology used in part to identify and alter bat coronaviruses likely to infect humans,” the Intercept originally reported. “Even before the pandemic, many scientists were concerned about the potential dangers associated with such experiments.”

“The grant proposal acknowledges some of those dangers: ‘Fieldwork involves the highest risk of exposure to SARS or other CoVs, while working in caves with high bat density overhead and the potential for fecal dust to be inhaled,'” the explosive report continued.

“That categorically was not done,” Fauci told the House Appropriations subcommittee, denying he funded “gain of function” research, a process that means “taking a virus that could infect humans and making it either more transmissible and/or pathogenic for humans.”

Upon the Intercept’s reporting, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has been a constant critic of Fauci, tweeted he was right that Fauci lied about the funding:

“Surprise surprise – Fauci lied again

And I was right about his agency funding novel Coronavirus research at Wuhan.

Read this thread and the papers released,” Sen. Paul said:

“I have already asked the DOJ to review Fauci’s testimony for lying to Congress. This report should make it abundantly clear that he needs to be held accountable,” he stated:

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 18: Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a hearing, with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, on the Covid-19 response, on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared before a joint hearing of the house committees to lay out a timeline for vaccinating children against COVID-19. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)

Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a hearing, with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, on the Covid-19 response, on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021 (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images).

Notably, Fauci did admit in May the NIH funded the Wuhan lab, but he has yet to answer to the Intercept’s reporting. Fauci has also left open the possibility that the coronavirus did not escape from the Wuhan lab, originating from the wild instead.

The I&I/TIPP polled 1,305 adult respondents September 1 – 3 with a margin of error of 2.8 points.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.

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