Washington – Dr Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said officials should take a “broader view” when assessing the origin of the coronavirus, and defended Dr Anthony Foci from criticism for his early response to the pandemic. .
“We now have other information that fits into this picture. Science is one piece of information, but there is a lot of other information that points out that it may have come out of a laboratory, that we need to have a broader view of the potential risk, that this is a laboratory leak, “Gottlieb said on Sunday on”
The revived focus on the origin of the virus comes amid a renewed U.S. investigation into its initial spread, as well as the publication of thousands of emails to and from Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in the early stages of the pandemic. Gottlieb said he “does not think there is anything remarkable about these emails.”
“I certainly don’t think Tony sent anything to express any bad intentions and nothing really new in terms of what we already knew,” he continued. However, I think that some of the discussions that have taken place in these emails point to a bigger problem, which is that in the beginning the email you focus on as the so-called “smoking gun” is, if you will, an email that Tony received from some really good scientists, which suggests that they thought it could have been an engineered pathogen in the beginning. “
Gottlieb said the email came from virologists who analyzed the virus’s genetic sequence and came to a conclusion that is now obsolete. “Over time, and with the growing attention of more and more virologists, the scientific community’s assessment is that there is really nothing so remarkable about this virus,” he said.
In response to critics who claimed Fauci had wrongly ruled out the possibility of a laboratory leak, Gottlieb said he had heard from “a very high-ranking official in the Trump administration” that Fauci had informed a group of doctors in Europe about the issue in the early days. the pandemic. “So these discussions continued,” he said.
Gottlieb said the debate showed that the assessment of the origin of the virus should be “in the hands of the national security apparatus, not just the scientific community”.
“I think the broader issue here for me is that we look at these things through the prism of science, and we don’t have to look at them through the prism of national security, but scientific thinking looks at the virus and the behavior of the virus and its sequence and makes conclusion, “Gottlieb said.” The national security assessment sees this as evidence, but then it looks at the Chinese government’s behavior, the laboratory’s behavior, it looks at other evidence around the laboratory, including infections that we now know have happened and that changes the overall assessment. “
In May, The Wall Street Journal reported that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China sought hospital treatment in November 2019 after falling ill. China reported the first case of coronavirus in December 2019.
President Biden did itredouble its efforts to collect and analyze information on the origin of the virus and report to it after 90 days.
“As part of this report, I have requested areas for further investigations that may be needed, including specific issues for China,” Mr Biden said in a statement.