(The Epoch Times) New details have emerged about a teleconference convened by Dr. Anthony Fauci on February 1, 2020, when he and a small group of scientists discussed the likelihood that the COVID-19 virus had leaked from a lab.
While the basic outlines of the teleconference became known last year when a batch of Fauci emails was released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), many crucial details were redacted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Those details were made public last week because of a successful FOIA lawsuit by independent journalist James Tobias.
It was known from the earlier Fauci email release that a group of scientists who receive funding from Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) believed that the virus might have leaked from a Chinese lab. One leading scientist, Kristian Andersen, had told Fauci in a January 31, 2020, email that “some of the features (potentially) look engineered.”
Another scientist, Robert Garry, wrote on February 2, 2020, “I just can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature.”
However, immediately after the February 1 teleconference, the entire group, including Andersen and Garry, publicly aggressively pushed the opposing natural origin narrative. On February 4, at a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, Andersen ridiculed claims that COVID-19 came out of a lab as “crackpot theories.”
READ: New analysis of COVID virus suggests Fauci’s fingerprints on pandemic bug
Andersen and other members of Fauci’s group later claimed that they had changed their minds about the origin of the virus after more evidence became available. However, Fauci’s newly unredacted emails prove otherwise.
Instead, the emails present the most damning evidence to date that Fauci’s group deliberately conspired to suppress public discussion of the lab leak scenario and brazenly lied about the underlying science.
Among the emails contained in the 174-page batch is one that Fauci sent shortly after midnight on February 1, 2020, as he was scrambling to set up the teleconference on the same day. The email is addressed to British pharmaceutical trust director Jeremy Farrar, with whom Fauci had co-organized the February 1 conference. It isn’t known why Farrar, a U.K. citizen with no known role in the U.S. government, was chosen to co-organize the teleconference. Fauci and Farrar control a significant portion of funding for virologists in the Western world.
Fauci, who also copied Andersen and two of his NIH colleagues, mentioned the COVID-19 virus’s unusual features and suggested contacting the FBI and the British security service MI5:
[I]f everyone agrees with this concern, they should report it to the appropriate authorities. I would imagine that in the USA, this would be the FBI and in the U.K., it would be MI5.
It isn’t known why Fauci made contacting the FBI dependent on everyone agreeing with concerns about the virus’s unusual features.
It’s notable that Farrar later claimed to have been using a burner phone during this time.
In the same post-midnight email, Fauci also stated he would alert “my” U.S. government officials of the possibility that COVID-19 was made in a lab. It isn’t known whether Fauci contacted anyone.
However, the real smoking gun is manifested in a February 4 email exchange between Fauci, then-NIH head Francis Collins, and Farrar.
Early on February 4, Farrar shared a draft of what would later become known as the Proximal Origin paper with Fauci and Collins. Proximal Origin, co-authored by Andersen, Garry, and three other scientists, including Edward Holmes who also attended the teleconference and who worked for the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention from 2014 to 2020, publicly promoted the natural origin theory. The paper was a direct product of the teleconference and would later be used by the media and Fauci as the scientific basis for dismissing the possibility that COVID-19 might have come out of a lab.
The February 4 email exchange reveals that, after reading the draft paper, Fauci sent Collins and Farrar a one-line response: “?? Serial passage in ACE2-transgenic mice.” ACE2-transgenic mice are mice that are used in virus experiments to mimic human lungs. It appears that Fauci was concerned that Proximal Origin was pointing to a possible lab origin.
Farrar replied “Exactly!,” apparently sharing Fauci’s concern. Collins then asked “surely that wouldn’t be done in a BSL-2 lab,” apparently expressing his incredulity that the Wuhan lab would have conducted such risky experiments in low biosafety level 2 lab – equivalent to the biosafety level of a U.S. dentist’s office. The fourth and final email in the exchange came from Farrar, who simply referred to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) as “Wild West …”