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Did COVID-19 emerge naturally? Anthony Fauci 'not convinced', says further probe needed

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Bharat SharmaUpdated: May 24, 2021, 07:30 PM IST

Due to its contagiousness, its tendency to mutate into new variants, and a large number of unvaccinated individuals, there's no way we're going to eradicate this virus, said Fauci. Photograph:(AFP)

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Now, Anthony Fauci, the US’ top infectious disease expert is not entirely convinced that coronavirus originated naturally. “No actually. I am not convinced about that”, he said.

The origins of COVID-19 have been given the conspiracy theory treatment by many across the world. China’s extreme caution while referring to the first few cases of the virus in Wuhan have contributed to netizens’ curiosity over the virus’ origins.

Now, Anthony Fauci, the US’ top infectious disease expert is not entirely convinced that coronavirus originated naturally. “No actually. I am not convinced about that”, News.com.AU quoted him as saying. Speaking at an event called “United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking” earlier this month, the expert pushed for further investigation into the origins of the virus.

Fauci said that he was “not convinced” by the current explanations. “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”.

He urged scientists to continue probing how the virus came into being. “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,” Fauci added.

"Possibility certainly exists"

During a Senate hearing on May 11, Senator Roger Marshall from Kansas, a doctor asked Fauci on the possibility of COVID-19 emerging due to a lab accident in Wuhan. To this, the expert responded by stating that the “possibility certainly exists”. He added that he fully favours further investigation “on whether that could have happened”, New York Post reported.

A fresh report from the House Intelligence Committee, backed by the US Republican Party claims that there exists “significant circumstantial evidence” that coronavirus emerged from a lab in China.

Another report by The Wall Street Journal released on Monday alleges that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were sick with Covid-like symptoms before the outbreak in November 2019, for which they sought medical care.

It is still unclear whether the virus originated from a lab. But ways to fight it remain very clear - masking up, social distancing, and washing hands often are proven ways to ward off the virus, even after vaccination.

COVID-19 first emerged in the city of Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since then, the virus has taken over 3.45 million lives with at least 166 million cases recorded globally.