Anthony Fauci urges China to disclose the medical records of Wuhan laboratory staff

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Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser called on China to publish the medical records of nine people whose illnesses may provide important clues to whether Covid-19 initially appeared due to a laboratory leak.

The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci, told the Financial Times that these records may help address a disease that has killed more than 3.5 million people worldwide The origin of the controversy.

The record in question involves three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology who reportedly fell ill in November 2019 and six miners fell ill after entering the bat cave in 2012. Scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology subsequently visited the cave from bats. Three miners died.

Shi Zhengli, Chief Coronavirus Expert of the Institute Previously rejected There are any infections in the laboratory-Fauci did not object, but said that further investigation should be done.

“I want to see the medical records of three people who were reported to be sick in 2019,” Fauci Say. “Are they really sick? If they are really sick, what disease did they get?

“The same goes for miners who fell ill many years ago…. How are the medical records of these people written? [a] Is the virus on those people? How was it before? It is entirely conceivable that the origin of Sars-Cov-2 was in that cave, and it either began to spread naturally or passed through the laboratory. “

The State Council did not immediately respond to the question of whether the Biden administration asked China to provide medical records.

The origin of Covid-19 has become one of the most controversial issues Pandemic. Former US President Donald Trump said last year that he believed the coronavirus was leaked from the Wuhan laboratory, but most people in the scientific community generally disagree, and they believe it is more likely to spread naturally from animals to humans.

however Laboratory leak theory In recent weeks, it has gained attention after a group of prominent scientists signed a letter saying that it should be taken seriously. Researchers in Wuhan have also received renewed attention. Sent to the hospital A few weeks before the first case of Covid-19 was officially recorded.

Biden last week Order the U.S. Intelligence Service Draw a conclusion on the cause of the pandemic within 90 days. The White House stated that two departments of the intelligence community believed that the SARS-Cov-2 virus was spread naturally, but the third department believed it came from the Wuhan Research Institute. No branch has a high degree of confidence in their conclusions.

Fauci has been accused, especially conservatives, for downplaying the laboratory leak theory, partly to protect the reputation of NIAID, NIAID helped fund Controversial bat research In Wuhan.

David Asher, the former head of the Covid-19 origin investigation of the US State Department, questioned why Fauci now only looks up medical records. He pointed out that the Trump administration publicly stated in January that US intelligence agencies believed that scientists in Wuhan had developed symptoms of the virus.

“I’m surprised that Fauci will ask this question now,” said Asher, now at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington.

Asher added that although he respects Fauci, he believes that NIAID and its parent organization, the National Institutes of Health, are frustrated by the lack of interest in the possibility of the virus leaking from the laboratory.

Fauci told the Financial Times that he still believes that the virus was first transmitted to humans through animals, and pointed out that even if laboratory researchers did contract Covid-19, they might have contracted it from a wider group of people. disease. But he said that he believes this issue is worthy of further investigation, especially because it has renewed public interest.

“I have always believed that, given our experience in dealing with SARS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Ebola, HIV, avian influenza and the 2009 swine flu pandemic, it is most likely that the virus crosses species,” he said. “But we need to continue investigating until it proves a possibility.”

However, he refuted the idea that his organization might take any responsibility for the epidemic, and said: “You really mean we are implicated because we provide a billion-dollar institution with $120,000 each year. Bat monitoring service?”

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