Fauci defends China: Didn't 'necessarily' cover-up COVID

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White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci was reluctant to blame China for lying about the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak in an interview Sunday. Despite evidence, he argued that China didn’t “necessarily cover things up.”

During an interview on BBC’s “Sunday Morning,” Fauci was asked what he thought about the Chinese government “preventing” World Health Organization (WHO) investigators from “seeing key details and from speaking to key people” when they tried to investigate the origins of the coronavirus outbreak. 

“Why do you think the Chinese government did that?” presenter Sophie Raworth asked the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease {NIAID} director. But Fauci declined to criticize the Chinese Communist Party for hiding key information about the virus from the world before the pandemic outbreak.

“You know, I don’t want to create any or mention any disparaging remarks about that,” he began. 

Last June, Fauci warned the media to not “be accusatory” in blaming China for misleading about the virus’s origin.

RAND PAUL SAYS FAUCI STILL STONEWALLING HIM ON GAIN-OF-FUNCTION QUESTIONS

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The doctor seemed to defend and rationalize China’s behavior as well to the BBC.

“[T]he Chinese are very closed, in a way of being very reluctant, particularly when you have a disease that evolves in their country, they become extremely secretive, even though there’s no reason to be secretive,” Fauci said. “I think they were very concerned and maybe embarrassed that the virus evolved from their country but there’s nothing wrong with that.”

He then claimed China didn’t “necessarily” cover things up.

“So when they see something evolving in their own country, they tend to have a natural reflex of not necessarily covering things up but not being very open and transparent,” he explained.

But new documents reported by Fox this month show that U.S. officials were aware China was withholding important information about the virus before the pandemic outbreak.

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a worker wearing a protective suit collects a throat swab sample at a COVID-19 testing site in Xi'an in northwestern China's Shaanxi Province, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. (Li Yibo/Xinhua via AP)

In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a worker wearing a protective suit collects a throat swab sample at a COVID-19 testing site in Xi’an in northwestern China’s Shaanxi Province, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. (Li Yibo/Xinhua via AP)

The correspondence was first obtained by the legal watchdog group Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told Fox News Digital the documents showed Fauci’s agency at the National Institutes of Health, “hid information on China’s failure to provide essential data on COVID-19.”

ADM. GIROIR HITS BACK AT FAUCI’S COMMENTS ON COVID RESTRICTIONS: ‘ELIMINATE THIS FROM YOUR VOCABULARY’

Fauci has been criticized by Republicans for downplaying the validity of the Wuhan lab leak theory, contradicting himself on COVID information, and being reluctant to give up coronavirus restrictions. 

In this same interview Sunday, he warned Americans “need to be prepared for the possibility” of COVID restrictions returning. Fauci also claimed the nation may never know if lockdowns in 2020 were “worth it” or “too severe” to stop the spread of the virus.

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