Peter Navarro, the former director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, told Newsmax on Monday that the likelihood that Dr. Anthony Fauci is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic is ''over the moon.''
''Now we know that Tony Fauci gave them [the Wuhan Institute of Virology] American taxpayer dollars to fund gain-of-function experiments that can turn a harmless bat virus into a human killer,'' Navarro said on ''Eric Bolling: The Balance.''
''The likelihood that the virus that Tony Fauci is making a career on came from Tony Fauci to begin with is over the moon. He did it. He should be held accountable.''
The comments from Navarro come after belief in the theory that the United States funded the Wuhan laboratory in China became widespread several months ago, according to BBC News.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), of which Fauci is director, provided a grant in 2014 to the Wuhan Institute of Virology through the National Institutes of Health, BBC News reported.
NIH provided the grant to the U.S.-based company EcoHealth Alliance, which used it to investigate possible coronaviruses spawning from bat populations in the Wuhan laboratory, according to the BBC.
Although there is no evidence to corroborate that COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, many, including Navarro, have speculated.
Navarro continued, explaining how he is not anti-vaccine but against vaccine mandates. He cited his contributions to Operation Warp Speed (OWS), the public-private project initiated by the Trump administration that helped produce COVID-19 vaccines in record time.
''The more you vaccinate, the more you run the risk of having vaccine-resistant mutations,'' Navarro said. ''This new variation is appearing in people who have had the vaccine — ergo, it's likely to be a vaccine-resistant mutation.''
Catherine Bennett, chair of epidemiology at Deakin University in Australia, told Fortune that there are concerns about the effectiveness of the vaccines against the new variant.
''The mutations have raised levels of concern about how they might impact how infectious [omicron] is,'' Bennett said. ''[Health officials have] reported quite a rapid escalation of cases, particularly in South Africa.''
Hannah Devlin, The Guardian's science correspondent, reported on Friday that the transmissibility of omicron is ''not yet clearcut but the emerging picture is worrying.''
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