Dr. Anthony Fauci adjusts his face mask during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response. (Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images/File)
By Caitlin McFall | Fox News
Lawmakers question whether scientists were pressured to downplay possibility of lab-made coronavirus.
EXCLUSIVE: Three senior House Republicans investigating the origins of the coronavirus called on seven scientists to provide voluntary testimony on why their opinion regarding the origin of the virus changed.
Reps. James Comer, R-Ky.,, a member of the Oversight and Reform Committee; Steve Scalise, R-La., the minority whip and ranking member of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis; and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, have questioned whether these scientists felt pressure from top health officials like Dr. Antony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins.
“Documents in the custody of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reveal how a group of scientists … initially believed COVID-19 to be man-made before reversing course and claiming otherwise following discussions with senior government health officials,” the lawmakers wrote in letters obtained by Fox News Digital.
“This sequence of events suggests a possible coordinated effort to conceal evidence pointing to a lab leak in Wuhan, China,” they claimed.
The lawmakers highlighted quotes from emails and letters exchanged by the seven scientists in late January and early February 2020 that suggest they suspected the coronavirus to have been manufactured rather than naturally occurring.
“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,” Dr. Kristian Andersen wrote in a Jan. 31, 2020, email to Fauci and Dr. Jeremy Farrar.
Andersen reportedly said that Drs. Eddie Holmes, Bob Garry, Mike Farzan “and myself all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.”
Farrar, Holmes, Garry, Frazan and Andersen were among the seven doctors to receive a letter from the lawmakers Thursday. All the doctors who received letters either took part in a Feb. 1, 2020, conference call with Fauci and Collins or communicated with those who had.