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Chinese Virologist Who Claimed Covid Leaked from Wuhan Lab

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Dr Li-Meng Yan, a Chinese virologist who was among the first to claim that coronavirus had leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan city, said US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci’s emails prove that she was right all along. Speaking to an American news and opinion website Newsmax, she said Fauci’s emails has “a lot of useful information” which suggested that he always knew more than what he revealed.

According to a report in New York Post, Dr Yan who researched on the emergence of Covid-19 virus, had revealed that she was forced into hiding after accusing China for covering-up the matter.

“They verify my work from the very beginning, even from last January, that these people know what happened, but they choose to hide for the Chinese Communist Party and for their own benefits,” Yan was quoted as saying to Newsmax.

“He knows all these things,” she insisted of Fauci.

One email, she said, showed that “Dr Fauci even back to 1st of February last year immediately realised that there would be gain-of-function experiment involved in the Covid-19 virus.”

Over 3,000 pages of Fauci’s work emails during the pandemic between January and June 2020, obtained by the Washington Post, Buzzfeed News and CNN through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was released this week. It has also has put the 80-year-old in a spotlight earning both praise and criticism.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director has been the face of America’s Covid-19 response. But emails have raised questions on whether he backed Chinese denials of the theory that Covid-19 leaked from a lab in Wuhan.

With the release of a trove of Fauci’s emails this week, Republicans’ attacks on the nations top government infectious-diseases expert have gone into overdrive. On conservative news channels, Fauci who now serves as President Joe Bidens pandemic adviser has been pilloried as a liar who misled the American people about the origins of Covid-19 to protect the Chinese government. In Congress, Republican calls for his resignation have grown louder, as have demands for new investigations into the origins of the virus.

Fauci, who has a security detail because of ongoing threats and who did not respond to a request for comment for this story, has repeatedly defended his work, saying he received thousands of emails and has never ruled out any theory.

I still believe the most likely origin is from an animal species to a human, but I keep an absolutely open mind that if there may be other origins of that, there may be another reason, it could have been a lab leak, Fauci said Thursday on CNN.

In one email, from February 1 of last year, Kristian Andersen, a researcher at the Scripps Research Institute, wrote to Fauci, the longtime director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about ongoing efforts to decipher the origin of the novel coronavirus.

In another email, Fauci was thanked by the head of a nonprofit that helped fund research at Chinas Wuhan Institute of Virology, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin, which he said will help dispel the myths being spun around the virus origins.

(with inputs from agencies)

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