Fauci: We need to keep an 'open mind' about the lab leak theory of COVID's origins

Dr. Anthony Fauci says scientists and researchers should keep an “open mind” about the theory that COVID-19 was leaked from a Chinese lab, though he reiterated that it is “more likely” the deadly disease first spread from an animal to a person.

Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke on “Morning Joe” after several of his emails that were made public by Buzzfeed News and Washington Post via a FOIA request.

In some of the emails from April 2020, he and NIH Director Francis Collins discussed the theory that COVID-19 may have originated in a laboratory in China.

“The situation is that we didn’t know, and we still don’t know what the origin is,” Fauci told “Morning Joe,” after he was asked if he believed the lab leak theory was a conspiracy theory.

“If you look historically in the way things rolled out, we all felt — and still do — that it’s more likely to be a natural jumping from an animal reservoir to a human,” Fauci continued. “However, since we don’t know that for sure, you’ve got to keep an open mind.”

He said that while there was interest in the theory, “the evidence is very sparse… the evidence for one or the other.”

Fauci went on to say there should be a “fair, open investigation” into the disease’s origins to “make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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