House Republicans Release Emails Showing Fauci Prompted a Study to Disprove Coronavirus Originated from Wuhan Lab

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci looks
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci prompted the draft of a study to disprove the Wuhan coronavirus lab leak theory was “improbable,” emails from the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic released Sunday show. 

The emails indicate Fauci “prompted” a study on a scientific paper written in February 2020 to disprove the coronavirus leaked from the Wuhan lab in China. The emails also show Fauci had final approval on the paper.

The scientific paper was used by Fauci eight weeks later in a White House press conference to discredit former President Donald Trump’s hypothesis that the coronavirus leaked from the lab. Fauci failed to disclose his involvement with the paper and the paper’s authors — claiming later he did not know who the authors were:

Fauci was emailed the paper entitled, “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2,” for final approval before publication in Nature Medicine on February 17, 2020.

The paper was published days after Fauci and other scientists, including former National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, discussed on a conference call reports that coronavirus could have originated from a Chinese lab and that it “may have been intentionally genetically manipulated.”

Emails released from Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic show the paper’s co-author Dr. Kristian Andersen acknowledged that Fauci “prompted” him to spearhead writing the article to “disprove” the theory that the pandemic originated from a Chinese lab.

Andersen emailed the paper to Nature Medicine on February 12, 2020, and stated in the email that Fauci had “prompted” the study. “There has been a lot of speculation, fear-mongering, and conspiracies put forward in this space. [This paper was] Prompted by Jeremy Farrah [sic], Tony Fauci, and Francis Collins,” the email read.

The paper was published by Nature Medicine on February 13, 2020, but apparently Farrah did not like the word “unlikely” that the journal used to describe the chances of the pandemic originating from the Chinese lab. He asked the journal to change the word to “improbable.”

“Sorry to micromanage/micro edit! But would you be willing to change one sentence?” he emailed. “It is improbable that SARS-CoV-2 emerged through laboratory manipulation of an existing SARS-related coronavirus.”

On April 17, 2020, Fauci cited the paper in a White House press conference with Trump as a means to discredit the president’s theory that the pandemic originated from China.

“There was a study recently where a group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists looked at the sequences … in bats as they evolve and the mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now is totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human,” he told reporters when asked if the pandemic originated from a Chinese lab.

Fauci also claimed to not know who the authors were. “So, the paper will be available,” he said. “I don’t have the authors right now, but we can make it available to you.”

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.