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'I Remember It Very Well': Dr. Fauci Describes a Secret 2020 Meeting to Talk About COVID Origins

A 2020 call appears to have played a key role in shaping views of scientists who contributed to shutting down talk of whether a lab leak caused COVID.

In the early days of the growing coronavirus outbreak that would soon become a pandemic, an elite group of international scientists gathered on a conference call to discuss a shocking possibility: The virus looked like it might have been engineered in a laboratory.

“I remember it very well,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert at the National Institutes of Health, said in an interview with me on Wednesday. “We decided on the call the situation really needed to be looked into carefully.”

The teleconference on Feb. 1, 2020, appears to have played a pivotal role in shaping the early views of several key scientists whose published papers and public statements contributed to the shutting down of legitimate discussion about whether a laboratory in Wuhan, China, might have ignited the COVID-19 pandemic.