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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 2, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Dr. Anthony Fauci knew about potential evidence of lab origins of COVID-19 as early as January 2020, according to a tranche of emails from the Biden administration medical adviser that were published Tuesday.

The emails, obtained by The Washington Post and Buzzfeed News through a Freedom of Information Act request, show that Fauci was informed by experts about “unusual features” of the virus that pointed to possible man-made origin. 

An email sent to Fauci on January 31, 2020 by Kristian Andersen, a professor with Scripps Research, noted that parts of COVID-19 could “(potentially) look engineered.”

“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.”

“I should mention that after discussions earlier today, Eddie, Bob, Mike, and myself all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory,” he added. “But we have to look at this much more closely and there are still further analyses to be done, so those opinions could still change.”

“Thanks, Kristian. Talk soon on the call,” Fauci replied. Prior to Andersen’s email, Fauci had forwarded him an article in Science magazine titled “Mining coronavirus genomes for clues to the outbreak’s origins.” 

“This just came out today,” Fauci said, calling it “of interest to the current discussion.”

“It’s a great article, but the problem is that our phylogenetic analyses aren’t able to answer whether the sequences are unusual at individual residues, except if they are completely off,” Andersen responded. 

Two months later, a paper by Andersen and colleagues in Nature Medicine stated that “SARS-CoV-2 is not a purposefully manipulated virus” and “we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible.” The authors acknowledged, however, that “it is currently impossible” to disprove other theories. 

Fauci, chief medical adviser to the Biden administration and previously President Trump’s top COVID-19 adviser, had downplayed the possibility that the virus may have been engineered for more than a year before finally changing his tune last month.

In another email, the founder of an American nonprofit flagged for research on bat coronaviruses in Wuhan, China, that could have resulted in the creation of COVID-19 thanked Fauci for his public dismissal of the lab leak theory last April. 

“I just wanted to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Dr. Peter Daszak, founder of EcoHealth Alliance, wrote to Fauci on April 18, 2020. 

“From my perspective, your comments are brave,” Daszak said. A large portion of the email remains redacted. 

EcoHealth Alliance had received U.S. taxpayer funding for its controversial “gain of function” virus work in Wuhan, as LifeSite reported earlier this year. The funds came from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) led by Dr. Fauci. 

Additional emails between Fauci a top NIAID official show that Fauci may have had significant concerns about gain of function research and its links to the pandemic. 

“It is essential that we speak this AM,” Fauci wrote to Hugh Auchincloss, NIAID principal deputy director, in February 2020. The email was labeled “IMPORTANT,” with an attachment titled “Baric, Shi et al – Nature medicine – SARS Gain of function.pdf.”

“Keep your cell phone on. I have a conference call at 7:45 AM with (Trump administration health secretary Alex Azar). It likely will be over at 8:45 AM,” Fauci said. “Read this paper as well as the e-mail that I will forward to you now. You will have tasks today that must be done.”

“The paper you sent me says the experiments were performed before the gain of function pause but have since been reviewed and approved by NIH,” Auchincloss wrote to Fauci, likely referring to a freeze on gain of function work enacted under the Obama administration in 2014. 

“Not sure what that means since Emily is sure that no Coronavirus work has gone through the P3 framework. She will try to determine if we have any distant ties to this work abroad,” he said. 

LifeSite will report more on Fauci’s emails in the coming days.