During an appearance on Sunday's broadcast of NBC's "Meet the Press," outgoing National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci told host Chuck Todd that despite reporting, he had an "open mind" about the so-called COVID-19 lab leak

During an appearance on Sunday’s broadcast of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” outgoing National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci told host Chuck Todd that despite reporting, he had an “open mind” about the so-called COVID-19 lab leak theory.

However, Fauci went on to indicate he was also open to the origin being a natural occurrence.

“What can we do to — to, once and for all, sort of, figure out whether the lab leak is a viable theory?” Todd asked.

“Well, the only thing that can be done is to have an open, transparent interaction with their scientists and our scientists, get in there, look at the epidemiology, look at what went on there, look at what happened earlier on, maybe a month or so earlier,” Fauci responded. “That has not been at all transparent enough for us to feel comfortable about.”

“Where are you on this now?” Todd added. “I mean, everybody’s always curious. Where is Fauci on the lab leak there?”

“I have a completely open mind about that, despite people saying that I don’t,” Fauci responded. “I have a totally open mind about that. But if you look at the preponderance of evidence that has been accumulated by an international group of highly respected evolutionary virologists, they feel — and they’ve written peer-reviewed papers on that — that the evidence strongly points to this being a natural occurrence of a jumping of a virus from a bat to an animal species to human. It hasn’t been definitely proven, but the evidence on that is pretty strong. Having said that, we still all have to keep an open mind as to what the origin is.”

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Jeff Poor