Dr. Fauci rejects conspiracy theory that coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab: Business Insider
Updated 17:44, 19-Apr-2020
By She Jingwei

There are many conspiracy theories swirling around the COVID-19 crisis, but Dr. Anthony Fauci rejected a conspiracy theory that the novel coronavirus was created in a Chinese lab, as reported by Business Insider

Fauci, the leading infectious disease expert in the U.S., suggested the available evidence on the origins of the virus is "totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human", although there are still some reports promoting the lab narrative in recent days, among which Fox News, the U.S president Donald Trump's preferred TV network, has been leading the charge despite a lack of evidence.

He cited a recent study by "a group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists" that can be made publicly available.

Previously, an analysis published in Nature Medicine by computational biologist Kristian Andersen of the Scripps Research Institute in California, also highlighted that any type of laboratory-based scenario should not be trusted, noting explicitly that SARS-CoV-2 "is not a purposefully manipulated virus" based on the evidence.   

Meanwhile, Trump on Friday also expressed skepticism over the Chinese government's official death toll from COVID-19, but what he continues to face is strong criticism from Democratic lawmakers and public health experts over his worse handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. exceeds 700,000 and the death toll tops 30,000, Fauci told NBC: "I think there is more of a chance of missing some that are really coronavirus deaths that are not being counted," adding that he does not believe that number is significant enough to really substantially modify the trends that the public is seeing at all. 

(Cover: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at the White House in Washington, D.C., March 25, 2020. /Reuters)