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US: Dr Fauci says he isn’t convinced that COVID-19 developed naturally

"I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China," Fauci said

Dr. Anthony Fauci (L), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks next to Response coordinator for White House Coronavirus Task Force Deborah Birx during a meeting with US President Donald Trump and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards D-LA in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington | AFP Dr Anthony Fauci | AFP

US public health expert and infectious disease specialist Dr Anthony Fauci said he is "not convinced" COVID-19 developed naturally. Fauci called for an open investigation into the virus’ origins.

“No actually. I am not convinced about that, 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 told Fox News.

 "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. So, you know, that’s the reason why I said I’m perfectly in favour of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus," he added. 

The Trump-led Republican government had argued that they thought the coronavirus was lab-manufactured. A team from WHO, visited Wuhan to investigate the virus’ origin and concluded that a lab leak was ‘extremely unlikely'. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, however, maintained that the investigation wasn’t "extensive enough". The team also said that the virus had jumped from a pangolin to humans, but, there are chances that there was an intermediary animal.

In May 2020, however, Fauci had dismissed the lab leak theory. Fauci, who is also a top adviser to President Biden on the coronavirus pandemic had stated that the virus most likely “evolved in nature and then jumped species.”

Like the Trump-led government, the Biden government too believes that China hasn’t been transparent regarding the origin of the virus.

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