The idea that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab is gaining traction in the White House, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asserting that "enormous evidence" exists to support the idea. Anthony Fauci, however, isn't one of the believers. In an interview with National Geographic, Fauci first discussed the idea that the coronavirus might be man-made:
- "If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats ... what's out there now is very, very strongly leaning toward this [virus] could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated—the way the mutations have naturally evolved," he says. "A number of very qualified evolutionary biologists have said that everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that it evolved in nature and then jumped species."
The interviewer then asked him about the possibility that scientists found the virus outside the lab and were studying it when it somehow jumped to humans. (One theory is that an infected animal was being destroyed, and a lab worker became infected accidentally during that process, per the New York Times):
- "But that means it was in the wild to begin with," he says. "That's why I don't get what they're talking about [and] why I don't spend a lot of time going in on this circular argument."
- On tests: Fauci again warned about a second wave, telling National Geographic, "Shame on us if we don't have enough tests by the time this so-called return might occur in the fall and winter."
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