ANTHONY Fauci's emails show he was told Covid may have been engineered at the beginning of the pandemic, but publicly downplayed the theory.
The emails also reveal that Fauci got a personal thank you note from the head of a nonprofit that used a government grant to fund research at the Wuhan lab suspected in the lab leak theory.
More than 3,000 pages of Fauci's emails were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and published on Tuesday by Buzzfeed.
The contents of some of the messages have led to renewed calls for Fauci, the longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to be fired from Republicans like Sen Rand Paul and Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene.
On January 31, 2020, more than two months before Covid-19 was declared a pandemic, Fauci forwarded a copy of a Science magazine article called Mining Coronavirus Genomes for Clues to the Outbreak's Origins to US virus researcher Kristian Anderson and Sir Jeremy Farrar, who runs a global health charity in Britain.
"This just came out today. You may have seen it. If not, it is of interest to the current discussion," Fauci wrote in an email with the article attached.
In his reply, Anderson noted that further analysis was needed to determine if the virus could have been engineered.
"The problem is that our phylogenetic analyses aren’t able to answer whether the sequences are unusual at individual residues, except if they are completely off," he wrote.
"The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.
Andersen said he and others "all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory," but "there are still further analyses to be done, so those opinions could still change."
On April 16, 2020, Fauci received an email from Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, about the lab leak theory being discussed on Fox News' "Hannity" program.
Collins sent an email with the subject, "conspiracy gains momentum," but the contents of the email were blacked out.
Fauci responded to that email, but whatever he said was also blacked out.
Two days later, Fauci received a messahe from Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance, thanking him for publicly disputing the likeliness of the Wuhan lab leak theory.
"I just wanted to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for Covid-19 from a bat-to human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology," Daszak wrote.
The EcoHealth Alliance used its grant from the NIH to study coronaviruses in Chinese bats and sent the Wuhan lab nearly $600,000 over the course of five years, beginning in 2014.
"From my perspective, your comments are brave, and coming from your trusted voice, will help dispel myths being spun around the virus's origins," Daszak's note continues.
Fauci replied, "Many thanks for your kind note," the next day.
After Covid-19 was declared a pandemic last year, Fauci publicly downplayed the possibility that the virus didn't develop naturally.
The doctor maintained that the most likely origin was a transmission from animal to human in a Chinese "wet market."
However, Fauci has changed his tune in recent weeks.
At an event last month Fauci said he was "not convinced" anymore that the virus evolved naturally.
"I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened," he said.
"Certainly, the people who investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals, but it could have been something else, and we need to find that out."
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