News & Politics

Fauci's Latest COVID-19 Flip-Flop May Be His Most Disturbing Yet

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Last year, Dr. Anthony Fauci claimed there was “no scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab.”

“If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated … Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species,” Fauci said at the time in an interview with National Geographic. “If you accept the premise, which is very strongly supported by scientific evidence, that it was not deliberately mutated and deliberately changed, and you say, if it was in the wild and evolving, the likelihood it jumped species naturally, someone will say, ‘Well, maybe somebody took it from the wild, put it in the lab, and then it escaped from the lab.’ But that means it was in the wild to begin with!” he added.

He also dismissed the theory that COVID-19 was found in nature, brought to a lab, and then escaped.

Fauci, arguably (though not justifiably) the most trusted person when it comes to COVID-19, set the tone for how theories about COVID-19’s origins would be treated. If you suggested it came from a lab or was man-made, you were laughed off as a kook.

In retrospect, it seems like Fauci was trying to protect himself, as it turns out that his National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases may have funded “controversial ‘gain of function’ research where coronaviruses were made ‘more infectious in humans,'” at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

But now, the Biden administration has admitted that the Chinese government has tried to stop an independent investigation into the origins of the virus, and has raised doubts about the China-backed WHO study that concluded the virus naturally jumped from animals to humans. Apparently, Fauci is trying to soften his past position and is finally admitting that he is “not convinced” that COVID-19 developed naturally, when asked by Katie Sanders of Politifact about it.

“No, actually. … No, I’m not convinced about that. I think that we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we find out to the best of our ability exactly what happened,” Fauci said during an interview earlier this month. “Certainly, the people who’ve investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals, but it could’ve been something else, and we need to find that out. So, you know, that’s the reason why I said I’m perfectly in favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus.”

This is an entirely opposite position than the one he’s held for over a year, which he repeated just a couple of months ago, when he disputed the Wuhan lab theory, contradicting the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield.

Does Fauci suddenly get a pass for being wrong? A year ago, when Trump appeared to support the Wuhan laboratory theory, he was ripped by the media for doing so. Perhaps the real question here is why was Fauci so confident for a year that COVID-19 developed naturally, and why has he suddenly changed his mind. Who was he trying to protect? Himself or China?

Fauci’s flip-flops are nothing new. He’s changed his tune when it comes to masking and other protective measures, but, there’s something very concerning about how confident he was for over a year about the origins of the COVID-19 virus. There’s evidence his NIAID was funding controversial research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and it seems very likely that Fauci’s “confidence” that COVID-19 developed naturally and couldn’t have escaped from a lab was less to do with science and more to protect his connection to the lab in question.