Is Chinese media right to accuse Fauci of ‘fanning a huge lie against China?’


Fact Box

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci is the leading immunologist for the White House, and has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. 
  • The CDC states that Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019, but was officially labeled by the World Health Organization on February 11, 2020. 
  • As of Wednesday, May 26, 2021, there have been 33.9 million coronavirus cases in the United States, with 605,608 reported deaths. 
  • In contrast, there have been 91,019 coronavirus cases in China, with 4,636 reported deaths, as of Wednesday. 
  • In a United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking Event, Dr. Fauci stated he was not convinced the virus developed naturally, saying, “I think we should continue to investigate what went on in china until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened.”
  • Chinese media criticized Dr. Fauci for his comments. Global Times, Hu Xijin, said, “US elites degenerate further in morality, and Fauci is one of them” on May 25, 2021.
  • On Wednesday, May 26, President Biden ordered a “closer intelligence review” of the origins of COVID-19; the report will be finalized in 90 days.

Ethan (Yes)

According to an article by CNN, Fauci said he's open to investigating the virus's origin, meaning one hasn't been done yet. The WHO did an investigation that sourced the virus from markets in China that sold live and dead animals, not from labs, meaning the virus couldn't have been artificially manufactured, aka 'man-made.' Despite this, Dr. Fauci has hinted at the possibility of the virus being man-made in Chinese labs. By ignoring this proof, Fauci is just fanning a lie. There is continually mounting evidence of the virus's real origin, and he shouldn't encourage blaming China's labs. 

By insinuating that the virus could have possibly come from a lab, Fauci is absolutely fanning an unfounded lie. As a medical professional, he should take a stance in the name of science and trust the investigations being done instead of pointing the finger at China. The consequences of an unwarranted acquisition can be detrimental, and Asian Americans have already faced enough backlash due to the ignorant and unsupported remarks made during the COVID-19 pandemic. The media already exaggerates stories, so Fauci's claims are opening the possibility to perpetuate further the negative stereotypes and hate crimes that Asian Americans are facing. 

According to CNN, 'Since no one is 100% sure, [Dr. Fauci is] open to a thorough investigation.' However, there was already an investigation done, so him being open to an investigation makes no sense. Dr. Fauci should review the investigation and reports that have already been done, proving the virus wasn't made in a lab, and avoid making a very serious and untrue claim against another country when the truth has already been presented to him.  

Kevin (No)

Dr. Fauci only recently commented that he was 'not convinced' that COVID-19 'did not originate naturally.' Fauci had previously been giving his opinion that it was of natural origin, to the point that he publicly disagreed with Trump's CDC director and Secretary of State about the situation. Even now, his statements aren't necessarily decisive, as he merely said he is 'perfectly in favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus,' not that he definitely believes it came from a lab. If Fauci truly wanted to stir up ill will against China, he's had plenty of opportunities to do so in a more direct manner.

Learning the true origin of the COVID-19 virus could be extremely helpful in finding treatments for the disease. Furthermore, if we are to prevent another pandemic like this one, global cooperation and transparency are imperative. Just as it is unhelpful to refer to COVID as the 'China virus' and point fingers, it is likewise unproductive to turn what should simply be a process of fact-finding into a political blame-shifting game. If the virus did originate in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, it appears the research that would have produced it was also funded by the US National Institutes of Health. For that matter, China isn't the only place where such gain-of-function research takes place, and it wouldn't be the first to experience a leak. This kind of posturing will only complicate things and will likely harm people's view of China as much as the media there fears Fauci's comments will.

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