Fauci says he ‘doesn’t know’ if Covid was from a Chinese lab leak

Comments come after FBI director told Fox News he thought it was pandemic’s ‘most likely’ explanation

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 08 March 2023 20:39 GMT
Fauci tells Andrew Cooper he ‘doesn’t really know’ if Covid was from a lab leak

Anthony Fauci says he “doesn’t really know” if the Covid-19 pandemic was caused by a Chinese lab leak.

Dr Fauci made the comments to CNN’S Anderson Cooper a week after FBI Director Chris Wray told Fox News his agency thought it was the “most likely” explanation.

Cooper asked Dr Fauci if the FBI and the Department of Energy, which has also stated that a lab leak is a likely explanation, were “right” in their assessments.

“Well, it’s very tough to tell that, Anderson, because they’re talking about information that they have that we don’t have privy to. So we don’t really know,” said Dr Fauci.

“They have made opinions on low confidence from the Department of Energy and moderate confidence, I believe, from the FBI. So, I don’t think there’s a really correct and verifiable answer to your question. It just still remains unknown at this particular point.”

Cooper then asked Dr Fauci if it was actually important to work out the origins of Covid-19.

“We know from study – well, it is, Anderson, because you want to make sure that, whichever of those alternatives it is, that we do whatever we can to prevent it from happening in the future, because we have had outbreaks before,” he replied.

“I mean, we had SARS-CoV-1, which was clearly shown to go from a bat to a civet cat to a human. And if there’s a possibility, which there is, certainly — we haven’t ruled it out — of there being a lab leak, there are things that you can do to prevent the recurrence of these things.

“For example, the data showing that it might be a natural occurrence would make you want to be very careful about the animal-human interface, and make sure that we have strict regulation of bringing animals into wet markets.”

And he added: “If it turns out to be a lab leak, you want to be very much more stringent in the controls of the experiments that you allow to be done. So, it is relevant to understand.

“Whether or not we ever will know, Anderson, I’m not sure. But it certainly is important to know.”

Data says that 1.13 million Americans have died from Covid since the beginning of the pandemic.

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