A vast majority of Americans believe that Covid originated in a Chinese lab, and less than half have faith that Dr Anthony Fauci is telling the truth about it.
In a poll of 1,000 Americans, Rasmussen found that 68 percent believe it is ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ likely Covid originated in a laboratory.
Only around a third, 38 percent, believe America’s leading infectious disease expert is telling the truth about the US funding gain-of-function virus research abroad. More than half also agreed that he should be investigated on the matter.
These are core components of the lab leak theory, which alleges that Covid is a man-made virus developed in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) that escaped into the world after infecting staff.
It is also speculated that a $600,000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant given to the WIV via the research organization EcoHealth Alliance was used on the dangerous research – though Dr Fauci has denied these claims.
Two-thirds of Americans believe it is likely Covid leaked from a lab, with nearly half saying it is ‘very likely’
Only around one-third of Americans say that they still trust Dr Fauci
In a poll published today, the university asked participants questions on how they viewed Dr Fauci, and whether they believed the lad leak theory.
When asked where they believed Covid was initially formulated in the Chinese lab, 48 percent of respondents said it was ‘very likely’, and 20 percent said it was ‘somewhat likely’.
This means that more than two-thirds of Americans believe that it is at least likely Covid leaked from a lab.
Those who believe the theory are usually Republican, with 83 percent saying it likely leaked from a lab.
Even 55 percent of Democrats agree with the sentiment, though, signaling the theory is gaining main-stream relevance.
While this theory was first dismissed as conspiracy, it has slowly gained relevance as more information has become available.
Investigations from the World Health Organization and US officials failed to rule out the lab leak theory – and China has refused to assist in the search.
Among the respondents to Rasmussen, 12 percent said they were not sure whether the virus came out of a Chinese lab.
That leaves only one-in-five respondents who believe the theory is unlikely.
If the virus that took over the world in early 2020 did come from the lab, then their is potential American taxpayer dollars helped create it.
The NIH admitted last year that experiments it had funded through the New York City-based nonprofit EcoHealth in 2018 and 2019 may have been dangerous.
America’s leading research institute said that the experiments conducted had the ‘unexpected result’ of creating coronaviruses that are more infectious in mice.
This type of research could be classified as ‘gain-of-function’ research, where scientists increase the traits of a virus as part of their research.
The US banned this type of research using federal funds in October 2014, though it was lifted at the end of 2017.
Still, gain-of-function research using American taxpayer dollars is rare and this research requires expressed approval from the NIH after intense scrutiny.
Sen Rand Paul has repeatedly clashed with Dr Fauci over the role the US may have played in the development of Covid if it had leaked out of a lab.
While Dr Fauci has never openly supported the theory – only saying he has an ‘open mind’ when questioned in public – leaked private emails show he did privately express concerns about it.
This has led to many Americans no longer trusting Dr Fauci, who serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the portion of the NIH that would oversee this type of research.
According to the Rasmussen poll, only 38 percent of Americans believe he has told the truth about the US government funding gain-of-function research.
On the other hand, 46 percent believe he is lying, while 16 percent are unsure.
Nearly three-in-four Republicans, or 72 percent, believe Dr Fauci is not telling the truth, compared to only 22 percent of Democrats.
More than half of Americans, 51 percent, strongly agree that ‘[There should be] a full-throated investigation into the origins of the [COVID-19] pandemic. [Dr. Fauci] must be required to testify under oath regarding any discussions he participated in concerning the Wuhan lab’, according to the survey.
Only one-in-five Americans disagree with that statement.
While Dr Fauci (pictured) has publicly pushed back on the lab leak theory, he showed concerns the virus originated in a Chinese lab in emails that leaked earlier this year
The question of whether the global outbreak began with a spillover from wildlife sold at the market or leaked out of the Wuhan lab just eight miles across the Yangtze River has given rise to fierce debate about how to prevent the next pandemic. Studies point to a natural spillover at the Huanan wildlife market. Positive swab samples of floors, cages and counters also track the virus back to stalls in the southwestern corner of the market (bottom left), where animals with the potential to harbour Covid were sold for meat or fur at the time (bottom right)
Fauci’s fall from grace: From orchestrating Covid lockdowns to playing down the lab leak theory and claiming vaccines stopped infections — how one of America’s most revered doctors lost the trust of the nation
Dr Anthony Fauci officially stood down from his government roles today after four decades spearheading America’s response to infectious disease threats.
He became one of the most-cited scientists on the planet for his work on HIV and other infections – before becoming the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 1984.
But Dr Fauci was not a name known to most Americans until 2020 when he became the face of the US’ Covid pandemic response. The 81-year-old was initially a revered figure — seen as a safe pair of hands in the face of a new, unknown pathogen and dubbed ‘America’s doctor’.
But his credibility has come under intense scrutiny in the two years since Covid struck after he exaggerated the effectiveness of vaccines to boost uptake, flip-flopped on face masks and pushed for lockdowns.
In March 2020, when concern was rising globally over Covid, Fauci told Americans that there was ‘no need’ to wear a face mask. He insisted at the time that they may only help people ‘feel a little better’, and ‘might even block a droplet’ — but would not provide good protection.
Less than a month later, however, he urged all Americans to wear them and became an overnight face mask zealot, pushing for mandatory face coverings for children as young as two.
He later admitted the reason the public were recommended not to wear masks initially was to save them for healthcare workers.
Dr Fauci also exaggerated vaccine effectiveness against Covid infection — saying there was little chance those who are double-jabbed would catch Covid.
He told MSNBC in June 2021: ‘It’s as simple as black and white. You’re vaccinated, you’re safe. You’re unvaccinated, you’re at risk. Simple as that.’
Meanwhile, Dr Fauci quashed discussion about Covid’s origin and virus-tinkering experiments at the Wuhan facility at the center of the lab leak theory – even though privately he expressed concern the virus was unleashed in an experiment-gone-wrong.
Dr Fauci has also made several bizarre claims during his time as the medical adviser to America’s Covid response. In an interview with MSNBC in June 2021 when criticisms about his judgement were put to him, he said critics were not only attacking him but ‘attacking science’.