Dr. Anthony Fauci and members of the Biden administration are asking China to release medical records of lab workers and miners who fell ill prior to the coronavirus outbreak, as they may provide clues about the origins of the virus, according to reports.
“I have always felt that the overwhelming likelihood — given the experience we have had with SARS, MERS, Ebola, HIV, bird flu, the swine flu pandemic of 2009 — was that the virus jumped species,” Fauci told the Financial Times. “But we need to keep on investigating until a possibility is proven.”
The medical records in question are from three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology who reportedly fell ill in November 2019 and six miners who got sick after entering a bat cave in 2012. Two of the miners died.
Scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology later visited the cave to collect samples from the bats.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.463.0_en.html#goog_1263257357PauseNext video0:29Full-screenRead Morehttps://c14deb9db86ee93aaa37abb094336ae7.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
“It is entirely conceivable that the origins of SARS-CoV-2 was in that cave and either started spreading naturally or went through the lab,” Fauci said.
President Biden’s chief medical adviser called on China to release the medical records, according to the Financial Times report. China’s foreign ministry declined to say whether it would consider releasing the records at a press briefing on Friday.
Biden last week ordered U.S. intelligence to come to a conclusion within 90 days about what started the pandemic. Speculation about a lab leak has ramped up in recent weeks, but public health professionals have said it is highly unlikely.
Last month, the World Health Organization released a report in which it stated a lab leak, “was considered to be an extremely unlikely pathway.”
Fauci has said several times he believes coronavirus was first transmitted to humans via animals.