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June 3 (Reuters) – America’s top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci called on China to release medical records of nine people whose diseases could provide vital clues as to whether COVID-19 first appeared times in the wake of a lab leak, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
“I would like to see the medical records of the three people who would have fallen ill in 2019. Did they really get sick and, if so, what did they get sick with?” the report https://on.ft.com/3igFTgU quoted Fauci as saying.
The origin of the virus is hotly contested, with U.S. intelligence agencies still reviewing reports that researchers at a Chinese virology lab in Wuhan were critically ill in 2019, a month before the first cases of COVID-19 were reported.
However, Chinese scientists and officials have consistently rejected the laboratory leak hypothesis, saying the virus could have circulated to other areas before hitting Wuhan and could even have entered China through shipments of ‘frozen foods imported or from wild animal trade.
The Financial Times reported that Fauci continues to believe that the virus was first transmitted to humans from animals, pointing out that even if the lab researchers had COVID-19, they could have contracted the disease from people in the region. wider. (Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bangalore; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)