Anthony Fauci's Inner Circle Initially Thought COVID Came From a Lab

Sen. Rand Paul explains why FOIA litigation shouldn’t have been necessary to find this out.


Did COVID-19 originate in a lab? To answer this question, let's revisit the early days of the pandemic and examine what some of Anthony Fauci's inner circle said privately about the origins of the virus—discussions that were only revealed through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation.

Evolutionary biologist Kristian Andersen wrote, "The lab escape version of this is so friggin' likely to have happened because they were already doing this type of work and the molecular data is fully consistent with that scenario."

Epidemiologist Ian Lipkin stressed the "nightmare of circumstantial evidence to assess" regarding the possibility of inadvertent release given the scale of bat coronavirus research pursued in Wuhan, China.

Virologist Bob Garry said at the time, "I really can't think of a plausible natural scenario when you get from the bat virus, or one very similar to it, COVID–19 where you insert exactly four amino acids, 12 nucleotides, and all have to be added at the exact same time to gain this function. I just can't figure out how this gets accomplished in nature." According to Garry, "it's not crackpot to suggest this could have happened, given the gain of function research we know was happening in Wuhan."

Even Ralph Baric, world-famous gain-of-function researcher and collaborator with Wuhan Institute of Virology doctor Shi Zhengli, admitted, "So [the Wuhan Institute of Virology has] a very large collection of viruses in their laboratory. And so it's—you know—proximity is a problem. It's a problem."

Federal court orders reveal that Fauci himself privately acknowledged concerns about gain-of-function research in Wuhan and "mutations in the virus that suggest it might have been engineered" just days before he commissioned the Proximal Origin paper.

Despite these private doubts, publicly, these so-called experts and their allies were dismissing the lab leak theory as a conspiracy. Within days, Andersen, Lipkin, and Garry were putting the final touches on what will be remembered as one of the most remarkable reversals in modern history.

In their Proximal Origin paper, these scientists concluded, "We do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible." Media pundits parroted this narrative, while social media platforms censored discussions about the lab leak, labeling it as misinformation and stifling open discourse about the virus's origins.

The cover-up went beyond public statements. Federal agencies and key officials withheld and continue to conceal crucial information from both Congress and the public.

For instance, David Morens of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) deleted emails that could have contained valuable insights into early discussions of how and where the virus originated, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) failed to comply with a law passed by Congress unanimously to declassify information on the origins of COVID-19. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the NIH have not produced documents related to gain-of-function research that Senate Homeland Security Chair Gary Peters (D–Mich.) and I requested nearly a year ago. And just last week, a House committee released its findings that the HHS and the NIH engaged in a deliberate, prolonged effort to deceive the committee about certain gain-of-function research experiments the agencies funded.

Thanks to brave whistleblowers, we've learned that EcoHealth Alliance partnered with the Wuhan Institute of Virology on an NIH grant to conduct research to make viruses more dangerous. It was revealed that three scientists who worked at the Wuhan Institute fell sick with COVID-like symptoms in the fall of 2019. Additionally, a brave whistleblower revealed that in 2018, EcoHealth, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the University of North Carolina submitted a proposal to the military research agency DARPA to insert a furin cleavage site remarkably similar to COVID-19 into bat coronaviruses, a modification expected to make the virus more lethal.

These revelations have provided crucial evidence on the origins of COVID-19. In fact, both the FBI and the Department of Energy now conclude that COVID-19 resulted from a lab.

The American people deserve complete transparency on the origins of COVID-19. The pandemic killed millions of people and shut down global economies. Our federal and state governments used the pandemic as a justification to strip Americans of their civil liberties and freedoms. Children missed critical developmental opportunities, families lost jobs, and businesses were forced to close.

Today's full committee hearing, the first of its kind in the Senate, is a crucial step to obtaining answers for the American people on the origins of COVID-19. The next step is to have government officials testify before our committee publicly, and I look forward to working with Chairman Peters to hold that hearing.

Understanding the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic is not just about assigning blame—it's about learning from what happened so we can prevent future, more deadly pandemics and the negative societal consequences associated with them. My goal is to uncover the truth, implement necessary safeguards, and prevent a tragedy of this magnitude from happening again.