Bipartisan congressional members investigating the origins of COVID and the federal government’s gain of function research pushed a new memo Sunday claiming new evidence suggests Dr. Anthony Fauci “prompted the drafting” of ‘Proximal Origins’ to disprove the lab leak theory.
The evidence reviewed by the GOP-led Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic members shows Fauci and at least 12 other scientists, including former National Institute of Health director Dr. Francis Collins, were first warned the virus possibly leaked from a lab in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on a conference call during the early days of the pandemic.
On February 4, 2020 — three days after the call —the memo suggested that four conference call participants who authored “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2” sent a draft for Fauci and Collins to edit and approve before Nature Medicine published the final paper.
“The evidence available to the Select Subcommittee suggests that Dr. Anthony Fauci ‘prompted’ Dr. Kristian Andersen, Professor, Scripps Research (Scripps), to write Proximal Origin and that the goal was to ‘disprove’ any lab leak theory,” the memo reads.
Before Anderson published the article in Nature in March 2020, the subcommittee alleges the doctor wrote to the outlet saying, “there has been a lot of speculation, fear mongering, and conspiracies put forward in this space and we thought that bringing some clarity to this discussion might be of interest to Nature.”
“Prompted by Jeremy Farrah [sic], Tony Fauci, and Francis Collins, Eddie Holmes, Andrew Rambaut, Bob Garry, Ian Lipkin, and myself have been working through much of the (primarily) genetic data to provide agnostic and scientifically informed hypothesis around the origins of the virus,” a February 12, 2020 email written by Andersen to Nature reads.
According to the evidence the Select Subcommittee revealed, Andersen “privately” did not find the narrative of the pangolin sequences data disproved a lab leak theory despite saying so publicly. And while Nature Medicine peer-reviewed ‘Proximal Origin’ more than a year earlier, Anderson did not find the pangolin data compelling.
“Dr. Collins emailed Dr. Fauci expressing dismay that Proximal Origin—which they saw prior to publication and were given the opportunity to edit—did not squash the lab leak hypothesis and asks if the NIH can do more to ‘put down’ the lab leak hypothesis,” the memo reads. “The next day—after Dr.Collins explicitly asked for more public pressure—Dr. Fauci cited Proximal Origin from the White House podium when asked if COVID-19 leaked from a lab.”
Although Andersen claims in an August 2021 letter that he “objectively weighed all of the evidence available to him while investigating the origins of the virus, lawmakers argue a previous email from Andersen deems the assertion as “demonstrably false.”
“Our main work over the last couple of weeks has been focused on trying to disprove any type of lab theory…,” a February 8, 2020, email from Andersen reads, according to the memo.
Unredacted email exchanges between Fauci and British zoologist Dr. Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance show that Daszak was working with Chinese virologists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, further suggesting the virus leaked from the lab.
The memo comes after U.S. Department of Energy officials revised a previous document that judged with “low confidence” that the virus had leaked from a Chinese laboratory, according to The Wall Street Journal.
New classified intelligence recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress showed Energy Department officials shifted their assessment of the pandemic’s origins in an updated 2021 report by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’s office. The updated classified report also affirms the view that COVID did not stem from a biological weapons program. A lack of a definitive animal source has led researchers and U.S. officials to suspect a leak from Wuhan’s assemblage of laboratories, The Journal noted.
FBI director Christopher Wray also recently said the bureau assessed that the origins of COVID most likely leaked from a Wuhan lab.
The National Intelligence Council and four agencies, which the Journal says officials refuse to identify, still believe with “low confidence” in the natural emergence theory. The Central Intelligence Agency and two other agencies reportedly still have not made a determination.