Reps. James Comer, R-Ky., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, want a top scientist, who had once said COVID-19 seemed like it may have been engineered, to brief them on why she changed her mind within a matter of days.
The two congressmen made their demand in a letter to Kristian Andersen, a virologist at the Scripps' Department of Immunology and Microbiology
Sparking their interest was an email Andersen had sent with the subject line "Science: Mining coronavirus genomes for clues to the outbreak's origins" to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, on the evening of Jan. 31, 2020.
"On a phylogenetic tree the virus looks totally normal and the close clustering with bats suggest that bats serve as the reservoir," Andersen wrote. "The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered."
But in their letter, Comer and Jordan pointed out: "On the evening of February 1, 2020, you and several other international virologists participated in a conference call with Dr. Fauci.. The American public does not know what happened on this call, as all emails pertaining to the content of the discussion have been redacted. But we do know what happened after. On February 4, 2020, you sent an email to Dr. Peter Daszak, the Chief Executive Officer of EcoHealth Alliance, Inc.— another organization that had received millions of dollars in taxpayer grants from Dr. Fauci — stating: ‘The main crackpot theories going around at the moment relate to this virus being somehow engineered . . . and that is demonstrably not the case.’"
Both Comer and Jordan noted that in a matter of three days she had "flipped" her perspective entirely without any explanation.
"It would appear the primary intervening event was the February 1 conference call with Dr. Fauci," they said. "We are very interested in understanding what happened on that call or what science came to light that caused such a dramatic change in your own hypothesis as to the engineering of COVID-19. Therefore, we request a staff level briefing as soon as possible but no later than August 5, 2021."
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are also calling on Fauci to join Anderson for a briefing on gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab in China and "the possibility COVID-19 was engineered to be more contagious."
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