America’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, called on China to release the medical records of nine people whose ailments could provide vital clues as to whether COVID-19 first emerged as a result of a leak of laboratory, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

“I’d like to see the medical records of the three people who reportedly got sick in 2019. Did they really get sick, and if so, what did they get sick from?” The report quoted Fauci as saying.

The origin of the virus is highly controversial, and US intelligence agencies are still examining reports that researchers at a Chinese virology laboratory in Wuhan were seriously ill in 2019, a month before the first cases were reported. of COVID-19.

However, Chinese scientists and officials have consistently rejected the laboratory leak hypothesis, saying the virus could have been circulating in other regions before reaching Wuhan and could even have entered China via imported frozen food shipments. or wildlife trade.

The Financial Times reported that Fauci continues to believe that the virus was first transmitted to humans through animals, noting that even if the lab researchers had COVID-19, they could have contracted the disease from the general population.

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