A senior scientist emailed Dr Anthony Fauci in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak that the virus appeared to have been conceived.
The next evening, the scientist joined other experts on a call with the top disease doctor, and days later dismissed the idea of an artificial virus as a “crackpot” theory.
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Two senior House Republicans now want to know how a scientist can have such a dramatic change of opinion – so quickly – about a virus that continues to confuse top experts.
Representative Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Thursday in a letter to Kristian Andersen, a virologist at the Scripps Research Institute in California, that he wanted to know what was discussed on the call that may have contributed to the change in opinion.
Andersen’s email was posted with a host of others in June.
The email said, in part, “The unusual features of the virus make up a very small part of the genome (<0.1%) so you have to take a very close look at all of the footage to see that some of the features (potentially) are looking. designed, ”he wrote. He admitted in the email that the research was in its early stages and his team needed more time to better understand.
Jordan, the leading member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Representative James Comer, R-Ky., A senior member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, pointed out in a letter to Andersen that the the email had been sent on January 31, 2020. The following evening, Andersen and “several other international virologists” were on appeal with Fauci.
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Republicans said the contents of the call remained a mystery, but between the conversation and February 4, 2020, Andersen sent Dr Peter Daszak, CEO of the EcoHealth Alliance, an email calling the artificial idea “artificial” the main crackpot theories going around right now. “
“This is clearly not the case,” Andersen wrote to Daszak, according to the statement.
Andersen, Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Daszak did not respond to out-of-hours emails from Fox News seeking comment.
“In three days, without explaining why, you completely reversed your point of view and started calling a theory you believed in a few days earlier a ‘weirdo theory’,” the reps wrote. “It would appear that the main intervening event was the February 1 conference call with Dr. Fauci. We are very interested in understanding what happened on that call or what science emerged that caused such a drastic change in your own guess as to the engineering of COVID-19. Therefore, we are requesting a staff level briefing as soon as possible but no later than August 5, 2021.
Andersen has been defended on social media by those who say it is common for scientists to have evolutionary theories about diseases.
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A statement by Republicans on the House Oversight Committee called on Fauci to join Andersen in discussing the gain-of-office research being conducted at the Wuhan lab.
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