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Dr. Fauci Apparently 'Prompted' Researcher to 'Disprove' Lab-Leak Theory

State of the Union: The NIH was running cover for its own political and economic interests under the guise of “science.”

(Phil Pasquini/Shutterstock)

Ted Carpenter's piece this morning lays out how the lab-leak theory of the pandemic's origins went from being an "unfounded conspiracy theory" to the official conclusion of the Department of Energy. Carpenter chronicles how mainstream scientists refused to entertain the theory, mainstream journalists refused to cover it, and social media sites suppressed anyone who questioned the government's line before the dam broke and it "became apparent that it was not 'settled science' that the virus originated in nature."

We now have reporting from the New York Post's Miranda Devine suggesting the scientific establishment not only failed to fully investigate the lab-leak hypothesis, but actively sought to produce "evidence" to "disprove" the theory. According to a series of emails obtained by House Republicans, Drs. Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health "prompted" Dr. Kristian Andersen to investigate the origins of the coronavirus. Andersen called Dr. Fauci on February 1, 2020, and on February 8, sent an email indicating he had spent "the last couple of weeks...trying to disprove any type of lab theory." It's possible, then, that the NIH heads were "prompting" Andersen to "disprove" that hypothesis.


Andersen's research was eventually cited by the NIH brass as proof that the coronavirus did not emerge from a laboratory. But in the back-and-forth between Andersen and the editors of Nature, which published the article, Andersen was clearly straining to dismiss evidence that could confound the natural-origin theory.

When Andersen filed the article with Nature, one "referee" speculated that forthcoming research on "pangolin sequences" would render the lab-leak theory "extremely unlikely." He wondered why Andersen and the other authors would "rush with a speculative perspective if their central hypothesis can be supported by their own data." Andersen responded, in emails obtained by House Republicans, that the "newly available pangolin sequences do not elucidate the origin of [the novel coronavirus] or refute a lab origin," adding that "there is no evidence on present data that the pangolin [coronaviruses] are directly related to the COVID-19 epidemic."

Scientists knew the natural-origin theory was questionable from the start. Rather than neutrally evaluate the relevant facts, they actively tried to "disprove" the lab-leak hypothesis to discredit the Trump administration, cool tensions with China, and preserve the credibility of gain-of-function and other forms of laboratory research, whose future funding would be imperiled by the confirmation of a lab leak. They were running cover for their own political and economic interests under the guise of "science."

As the former president would say, many such cases.