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Dr. Anthony Fauci engaged in private phone calls with Chinese researchers regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, despite the NIAID Director’s recent attempts to distance himself and his agency from Chinese labs potentially linked to the origins of COVID-19. The relationship Fauci divulges during an event at the Council on Foreign Relations in February 2020 undercuts the top pandemic advisor’s recent claims that his agency has no ties – via funding or personnel – to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. At the event, “Coronavirus Outbreak and Global Health Threats,” Fauci was pressed by a Radio Free Asia journalist on why he “trusts the information China is providing” related to the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak. “Today, I do for the following reason,” he begins before alleging that the Chinese Communist Party isn’t silencing doctors who share COVID-19-related information that goes against party narratives: What has changed in China is that the Chinese officials have been more than adamant about actually punishing people who are holding back information, whereas early on, there was a reluctance and a hesitancy on the part of the scientists to talk about what really is going on there.”

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