- In a new interview, Fauci lashed out at those calling for his prosecution
- Speaking on CNN, the elderly doctor asked: ‘Suing me for what?
- On Friday, the House voted unanimously to declassify intelligence information about the origins of COVID-19
Dr. Anthony Fauci has hit back at those who want to see him prosecuted for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fauci, 82, now retired, called his accusers “crazy,” during an interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday.
He said he and his family were still receiving death threats because of his response to the 2020 pandemic – months after stepping down as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Acosta also asked Fauci about Elon Musk’s December tweet that mocked transgender pronouns while calling for criminal prosecution. The message read: “My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci.”
‘What’s your answer to that?’ asked the host.
“There is no answer to this madness, Jim. Sue me for what? What are they talking about? I would like to understand what they are talking about. I think they’re just getting to the bottom of it,’ the nation’s top infectious disease expert said.
“It makes no sense to say something like that, and it’s actually irresponsible,” he blasted.
Speaking about how his family is dealing with the negative publicity around his handling of the pandemic, Fauci said it was “difficult”.
“I mean, they don’t like me getting death threats all the time. Every time someone stands up and spouts nonsense that is misinformation, misinformation and outright lies, someone somewhere decides they want to hurt me and my family,’ did he declare.
“That’s the part that’s really unfortunate… The rest is just madness, the things they say. But it has a negative effect when people take it seriously and go after you and your family. .
The doctor described the view that it was ‘unacceptable’ to have a ‘political opinion on a public health issue’ because these issues create a ‘common enemy’.
During his tenure between 1984 and 2022, Fauci dealt with thorny issues around health crises from HIV/AIDS to avian flu and Ebola.
The veteran immunologist has served as an adviser to seven US presidents, beginning with Republican Ronald Reagan, and has more than 50 years of public service.
At the time of Musk’s tweet, the White House expressed its full support for Fauci.
“They are disgusting, and they are divorced from reality, and we will continue to denounce it and be very clear about it,” press officer Karine Jean-Pierre later told reporters.
The House on Friday voted unanimously to declassify US intelligence information about the origins of COVID-19, a sweeping show of bipartisan support as the third anniversary of the start of the deadly pandemic approaches.
The 419-0 vote was the final approval of the bill by Congress, sending it to President Joe Biden’s office. It’s unclear whether the president will sign the measure into law, and the White House has said the matter is under review.
“I haven’t made that decision yet,” Biden said Friday night when asked if he would sign the bill.
The debate in the House was short and to the point: Americans wonder how the deadly virus began and what can be done to prevent future outbreaks.
“The American public deserves answers to all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
This includes, he said, “how this virus was created and, more specifically, whether it was a natural event or the result of a lab-related event.”
The Republican-led focus on the origins of the virus comes as the House kicked off a select committee with a hearing earlier in the week to explore theories about the start of the pandemic.
It offers a rare moment of bipartisanship despite often impassioned rhetoric about the origins of the coronavirus and questions about the response to the virus from US health officials, including Fauci.
House Republicans have used their new majority power to investigate all aspects of the pandemic, including the origin, as well as what they claim are authorities’ efforts to cover up the fact that she fled from a lab in Wuhan.
Days earlier, the GOP released emails showing Fauci commissioned a February 2020 paper to refute the possibility that COVID originated in a lab — before releasing the study at a press conference in the White House weeks later.
In February, Republicans sent letters to Fauci, National Intelligence Director Avril Haines, Health Secretary Xavier Beccera and others as part of their investigative efforts.
Letters do not require the recipients’ cooperation. But in announcing the Republican staff report in December, Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, chairman of the virus subcommittee, said lawmakers would issue subpoenas if potential witnesses don’t cooperate.
Republicans accused Fauci of lying to Congress when he denied in May that the National Institutes of Health had funded ‘gain-of-function’ research – the practice of enhancing a virus in a lab to study its potential impact in the real world – in a virology lab in Wuhan.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, even urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Fauci’s statements.
At the time, Fauci called this criticism “nonsense”.
DID COVID LEAK FROM A WUHAN LABORATORY? EVIDENCE FOR AND AGAINST
Evidence for the Wuhan Lab Leak Theory
An article in the respected scientific journal on May 14, 2021 sparked the renewed interest in the laboratory leak theory.
Some 18 experts wrote in the review that “we must take hypotheses about natural and laboratory fallout seriously until we have sufficient data.”
Later that month, a study by British Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian scientist Dr Birger Sørensen claimed that there was “prima facie evidence of reverse engineering in China” for a year.
The study included accusations of “deliberate destruction, concealment or contamination of data” in Chinese laboratories.
This followed statements by the Director General of the WHO, US and EU, that greater clarity on the origins of this pandemic is necessary and achievable.
Previously, the theory had been dismissed as a conspiracy by most experts, in part because of its association with President Donald Trump.
In May 2021, President Joe Biden ordered a full investigation into the origin of the pandemic virus and asked scientists to determine if the theory was true.
In December 2021, Harvard scientist Dr Alina Chan told the UK’s science and technology select committee that it was “reasonable” to believe that Covid had been genetically modified in China.
She also said the Chinese Communist Party’s cover-up of the initial outbreak in Wuhan two years ago and attempts to sabotage the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origins of the pandemic made the theory likely. laboratory leaks.
The head of the World Health Organization insisted a day earlier that the theory that Covid emerged from a lab in Wuhan has not been ruled out – as he said China should help solve the mystery out of “respect” for the dead.
The body’s chief executive, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, suggested Beijing had not fully cooperated as he called for more “transparency” in the investigation.
And a senior government source claimed in June 2022 that the WHO boss privately believed the pandemic had started following a leak from a Chinese lab.
In September 2022, leading medical journal The Lancet admitted that the virus may have been leaked from any lab, including those in the United States.
Evidence Against Theory
Most of the scientific community says that the virus is most likely of natural origin.
A series of articles point to the virus evolving in animals before being transmitted to humans, like all the other previously discovered coronaviruses.
The first study, published in Scientific Reports, showed that some 47,000 wild animals of 38 species were sold in four markets in Wuhan between May 2017 and November 2019.
The authors, including Dr Chris Newman, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Oxford, said the evidence showed the conditions for animal-to-human transmission were in place in Wuhan.
But they acknowledged there was no evidence that Sars-CoV-2 was present in or came from any of these animals.
A joint investigation by the World Health Organization and China also concluded that it was “very likely” that the virus jumped from bats to humans via an as-yet-unknown intermediary animal.
And a June 2022 report from the WHO says Covid most likely originated in bats before infecting humans.