The following evening, the scientist joined other experts on a call with the top disease doctor and days later dismissed the idea of an engineered virus as a “crackpot” theory.
Two top House Republicans now want to know how a scientist can have such a dramatic change in opinion — so quickly — about a virus that continues to baffle top experts.
The Republicans said the contents of the call remain a mystery, but between the conversation and Feb. 4, 2020, Andersen sent Dr. Peter Daszak, CEO of EcoHealth Alliance, an email that called the man-made idea one of “the main crackpot theories going around at the moment.”
“This is demonstrably not the case,” Andersen wrote to Daszak, according to the statement.
Andersen, Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Daszak did not respond to after-hours emails from Fox News seeking comment.
“In three days, with no explanation as to why, you flipped your perspective entirely and began calling a theory you lent credence to only days earlier a ‘crackpot theory,’” the representatives wrote. “It would appear the primary intervening event was the February 1 conference call with Dr. Fauci. We are very interested in understanding what happened on that call or what science came to light that caused such a dramatic change in your own hypothesis as to the engineering of COVID-19. Therefore, we request a staff level briefing as soon as possible but no later than August 5, 2021.”
Andersen has been defended on social media by those who say it is common for scientists to have evolving theories about diseases.
A statement from the Republicans on the House Oversight Committee called on Fauci to join Andersen to discuss gain-of-function research conducted at the Wuhan lab.
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