Fauci backs investigation of Covid origins after senators propose task force

President’s chief medical adviser appeared to stop short of explicitly voicing support for the senators’ plans

Fauci slams Paul for using pandemic for political gain

Dr Anthony Fauci has said he supports continued investigations into the origins of Covid-19 after two senators proposed a task force that would take up that topic.

The expert signaled his backing at a White House Covid-19 response briefing on Wednesday when asked about last week’s proposal by Sens Patty Murray (D - Washington) and Richard Burr (R - North Carolina).

The legislation put forward by the pair would charge Congress with appointing a task force to examine the initial emergence of the virus and evaluate America’s preparedness for future pandemics.

Asked if he thinks it’s necessary to conduct an inquiry into Covid’s origins, Dr Fauci gave a lengthy reply but appeared to stop short of explicitly voicing support for the senators’ plans.

“I think it’s important to look at every aspect of this outbreak for lessons learned, that is not only what the origin of the virus is but many other things that we could learn from in the future so we can prevent something like this happening or respond better if and when it does,” he said.

“One of those is understanding what the origin of the virus is. It’s very important.”

Dr Fauci noted that studies of the first-ever detected coronavirus in 2002 “took years” to pinpoint the origin - suggesting a long road for the same result with Covid-19.

“It would be obviously important to determine how this went from what was very likely an animal reservoir, given the similarity with bat viruses, how that happened to go into humans to lead to this outbreak,” he said.

“Understanding that will help us prepare for any future outbreak as well as prepare for a response. So I’m definitely in favour of that.”

Jeff Zients, the White House Covid response coordinator, also addressed the senators’ proposal when asked whether it is backed by President Joe Biden.

“We share the senators’ focus, a lot of the bill is about building stronger public health systems and we appreciate the bipartisan goals to ensure the country is better prepared for outbreaks in the future like Covid,” he said.

“Right now our focus is 100 per cent on fighting Omicron and Covid … Across time we do look forward to engaging with Congress and reviewing lessons learned from this pandemic.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in