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Fauci: The 'Most Likely' Origin of COVID-19 Is 'Natural,' but a Lab Leak Has Not Been Ruled Out

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Dr. Anthony Fauci believes it is “most likely” that origin of COVID-19 is “a natural origin from an animal reservoir to human.” But he has not ruled out the possibility that it escaped in a lab leak.

During Wednesday’s appearance on MSNBC, Fauci said, “All of us have always realized, and I feel this way I haven’t changed, most of the scientists that I know feel that way, that the most likely origin is a natural origin from an animal reservoir to human.”

“However, we have not ruled out the possibility that there could have been a leak from the lab of them working on the virus. It could have been that somebody was infected early on, they brought them into the lab, and it came out into the lab, and it was already out in the community,” he added.

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Fauci’s comments come weeks after he revealed that he is not convinced that the coronavirus developed naturally.

During a United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking event,  PolitiFact’s Katie Sanders asked him, “There’s a lot of cloudiness around the origins of COVID-19 still, so I wanted to ask, are you still confident that it developed naturally?”

“No, actually,'” Fauci said, adding, “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 continued, “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 favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus.”

President Joe Biden announced last month that he asked the Intelligence Community to “redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 day.”

The discussion of the origins of the virus received renewed attention after The Wall Street Journal reported, based on a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report, that several researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill and sought hospital care in November 2019.

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