President Biden’s outgoing chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, on Sunday urged officials to “keep politics out” to investigate the origins of COVID-19 in China.
Speaking to moderator Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Fauci said she was open-minded, but reiterated that the evidence that the virus arose naturally was “very strong.”
“They are very suspicious that someone is trying to indict them,” Fauci said of the Chinese government. We need to stay away from politics.”
Republicans, after winning a House majority in January, have indicated plans, like Fauci himself, to investigate the cause of the pandemic, suggesting that COVID-19 originated in a laboratory.
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“My colleagues, please be absolutely open-minded,” Fauci told CBS. “It’s too important not to do it, so every possibility needs to be explored.” We have to keep in mind that it is something else.”
Fauci, however, disputed the idea that the Chinese Communist Party covered up the origins of the pandemic.
“Not necessarily the scientists we know and have worked with productively over the decades, but the entire establishment — China’s political and other establishment has something to hide. Even in the absence of any — they act secretly, a proper suspicion,” Fauci said.
He went on to criticize former President Trump’s disparaging comments about China in the early months of the pandemic, but Fauci acknowledged that more data is needed.
“What happens is that the obvious anti-China approach and denouncing nature of the Trump administration from the start makes the Chinese flinch and say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I’m not going to tell you about that.'” is not correct. It should be,” Fauci told Brennan.