Former New York Times Science Editor Testifies Fauci ‘Not Too Pleased to Hear’ Virus May Have ‘Escaped from Research His Agency Had Funded’

The former science editor at The New York Times testified Wednesday morning before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic there is now strong evidence the COVID-19 virus escaped from a Wuhan lab, but that “powerful scientific officials, such as [Anthony] Fauci and [National Institutes of Health Director] Francis Collins, kept researchers “in line” with their natural origins narrative with the knowledge the scientists were dependent on government grants to continue their research.

In his testimony, Nicholas Wade, who not only served as former science and health editor at The Times, but also as former editor at Science and at Nature, quickly got to the heart of the matter: the campaign to suppress the lab leak narrative.

“But if the evidence for the lab leak is so strong, why do so many people still believe the virus came from nature?” he asked. “The reason is that the natural origin camp got its story out first – always a big help.”

Wade explained the series of events:

It very successfully painted the lab leak as a conspiracy theory before anyone had publicly opposed it. The national media swallowed the national origin story unskeptically and, once committed to it, failed to report important contrary evidence … scientists and journalists, it seems to me, fell down on the job by failing to check out the virologists’ self- serving claims. The national origin theory did not prevail by accident. It was promoted by science administrators in the United States and England, including Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health. The NIH is a national treasure and Collins and Fauci, its most prominent leaders at the time, are well known to the public and on Capitol Hill. It’s hard to believe that in the twilight of their long careers, they would seriously mishandle an issue as important as the origin of the COVID virus. That is what the evidence seems to point to.

Wade said the campaign to take down the lab leak theory began on January 31, 2020, when Fauci received an email from four virologists led by Kristian Andersen of Scripps Research. The scientists were all of the opinion SARS2 [the virus causing COVID-19] could not have been made in nature.

“Fauci was probably not too pleased to hear that the virus might have escaped from research that his agency has funded,” Wade stated.

“A strange thing happened to the virologists’ conclusion within four days,” he continued, adding that Andersen in an email on February 4, “derided the lab leak as a crackpot theory.”

“What made him change his mind?” Wade asked. “No new scientific evidence about the virus came to light between January 31 And February 4, but, from that 180-degree reversal, a whole campaign was able to be developed including highly influential articles placed in Nature, Medicine, and the Lancet.”

During the hearing on the origins of the coronavirus, led by Chairman Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Wade pointed to early evidence that the virus did not originate in the Wuhan wet market.

Supporters of the natural origin theory for SARS2 [COVID-19], Wade explained in his prepared testimony, have relied heavily upon a report from last summer that notes the earliest recorded cases of COVID-19 occurred in the vicinity of the Wuhan wet market, and that an infected animal housed there must have been the source of the infection, just as happened in the case of SARS1.

“But first, the authors failed to find a single infected animal, so there is no evidence that it was an animal that introduced the virus to the market,” Wade observed, adding that “[e]ven Chinese researchers decline to pinpoint the Wuhan wet market as the source of the Covid epidemic.”

“A recent paper authored by George Gao, then head of the Chinese CDC, noted that ‘no virus was detected in the animal swabs covering 18 species of animals in the market’ and that the origins of SARS2 ‘remain to be determined,’” Wade noted, concluding, “If you can’t carry even the Chinese with a natural origin argument, better try something else.”

Wade said most of the work on the lab leak theory has been accomplished by “independent scientists and Freedom of Information Act requests.”

Currently, new emails exposed by House Republicans over the weekend showed Fauci “prompted” – and approved – a scientific paper written specifically in February 2020 with the purpose of discrediting the theory that the COVID virus leaked from the lab in Wuhan, China.

As The New York Post observed, during a White House press conference on April 17 of that same year, when reporters asked Fauci if the virus could have originated in a Chinese lab, he referred to that paper as evidence, that the lab leak theory was highly unlikely, and continued to push, instead, the narrative that the virus evolved in bats at a wet market.

Fauci responded, however, as The Post reported, “pretending it [the paper] had nothing to do with him and he did not know the authors.”

“So, the paper will be available,” Fauci said. “I don’t have the authors right now, but we can make it available to you.”

Both the FBI and the U.S. Department of Energy have recently confirmed the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic likely originated from a lab incident in Wuhan, China.

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]




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