Science

Dr Fauci urges China to share medical records of sick Wuhan researchers

White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci on Thursday urged China to share the medical records of nine people who suffered from coronavirus-like illness before the pandemic began, saying they could help determine if the virus may have come from a laboratory.

The theory of the laboratory leak, long considered improbable, has been revived in recent weeks after the publication in the US press of information claiming that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been hospitalized in November 2019 with symptoms. compatible with Covid-19, but also with those of a “seasonal infection”.

In an interview published Thursday in the Financial Times, Anthony Fauci said these medical records could answer crucial questions about the origins of Covid-19 in Wuhan, where a pandemic began that has killed more than 3.6 million people. in the world.

“I would like to see the medical records of the three people who would have fallen ill in 2019,” said the immunologist. “Did they really get sick, and if so, from what?”

As researchers visited a cave with bats in Yunnan province of China, the immunologist said it was “entirely conceivable that the origin of Covid-19 was in this cave, and that ‘it has started to spread naturally or has passed through the lab. “

In May, Anthony Fauci said that while many specialists “think it is more likely” that Covid-19 is “a natural event”, they have “no 100% response”.

China, which fiercely fights the laboratory’s hypothesis, accused Washington of disseminating “conspiracy” theories and denied information on the hospitalization of researchers in Wuhan.

The thesis of a natural origin, considered as the most likely by a joint study of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Chinese who visited Wuhan earlier this year, argues that the virus is appeared in bats before being transmitted to humans, probably via another animal.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday relied on the team’s findings to reject Fauci’s statements, citing baseless claims that the virus first appeared in the US military laboratory at Fort Detrick. .

Asked about the possibility of Beijing sharing the medical records, the ministry referred to a statement from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in March.

“We hope that people who disbelieve conspiracy theories, who respect the facts and who respect the truth can find factual answers in this statement,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry.

Last week, President Joe Biden asked US intelligence services to produce a report within 90 days on the origin of the Covid-19.

burs-oho / led / seb

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