A key figure in coronavirus research at a Wuhan laboratory personally thanked Dr. Anthony Fauci for downplaying the likelihood that COVID-19 originated in a lab — even though the possibility remains, more than a year later, under investigation.
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Peter Daszak — president of EcoHealth Alliance, a research group that secured a grant to perform coronavirus research in Wuhan before the pandemic — wrote to Fauci in April of last year “to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators” after Fauci dismissed the idea that the pandemic started due to a lab accident in Wuhan.
Fauci replied to the email, which came on April 18, 2020, to thank Daszak for his “kind note.” Earlier in the day, Fauci was asked directly about the lab leak hypothesis during a COVID briefing, and he said the scientific evidence “is totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human.”
The exchange between Daszak and Fauci was part of more than 3,200 pages of Fauci’s emails that BuzzFeed News obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and posted online Tuesday.