There's a lot of buzz about the Fauci emails. It's clear that Fauci has been dishonest on multiple levels, has been playing politics, and preening for publicity purposes. It's a very bad look for the guy who's supposed to be handling a pandemic. The email that really caught my eye was fingered by Australian writer Sharri Markson in a tweet. What's eye-catching about the email is that--unlike some that Fauci claimed were too long to read--this one features Fauci engaging in an exchange with a scientist that is at least 3 emails long.
What's going on in this exchange is that Fauci apparently sent an article from ScienceMag to the scientist in question--Kristian Andersen. Andersen is a recognized expert in the field of viral immunology. You can read his creds at Scripps Research:
Department of Immunology and Microbiology
Kristian G. Andersen, PhD
Department of Immunology and Microbiology
Scripps Research Joint Appointments
Professor, Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology
Director of Infectious Disease Genomics, Translational Research Institute
Faculty, Graduate Program
Other Joint Appointments
Vice President, Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium
Kristian Andersen is a professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research, with joint appointments in the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology, and at the Scripps Research Translational Institute. Over the past decade, his research has focused on the complex relationship between host and pathogen. Using a combination of next-generation sequencing, field work, experimentation, and computational biology he has spearheaded large international collaborations investigating the emergence, spread and evolution of deadly pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, Zika virus, Ebola virus, West Nile virus, and Lassa virus. His work is highly cross-disciplinary and exceptionally collaborative.
Kristian earned his doctoral degree from the University of Cambridge and performed postdoctoral work in Pardis Sabeti's group at Harvard University and the Broad Institute.
Ph.D., Immunology, University of Cambridge, UK, 2009
B.Sc., Molecular Biology, University of Aarhus, DK, 2004
Harvard University & Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
University of Cambridge & MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Aarhus University & University of Kent, Canterbury
There's lots more where that came from, but I think you get the picture--Andersen is a world class scientist in his field, a guy that you want to pay attention to if you're trying to figure out where a virus came from and he says he has some ideas.
So, Andersen, it seems, was trying to get across to Fauci that there some suspicious features to the Covid genome--features that suggested that Covid was "engineered."
In response, Fauci sent Andersen the article from ScienceMag:
The article is by Jon Cohen, "a staff writer for Science. In other words, in response to Andersen's concerns that Covid is an engineered virus, Fauci sends this world class scientist an article by "a staff writer for Science." The article is a news type article, not scientific analysis. As such, it features paragraphs such as these:
In the absence of clear conclusions about the outbreak’s origin, theories thrive, and some have been scientifically shaky. A sequence analysis led by Wei Ji of Peking University and published online by the Journal of Medical Virology received substantial press coverage when it suggested that “snake is the most probable wildlife animal reservoir for the 2019‐nCoV.” Sequence specialists, however, pilloried it.
Conspiracy theories also abound. A CBC News report about the Canadian government deporting Chinese scientists who worked in a Winnipeg lab that studies dangerous pathogens was distorted on social media to suggest that they were spies who had smuggled out coronaviruses. The Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is the premier lab in China that studies bat and human coronaviruses, has also come under fire. “Experts debunk fringe theory linking China’s coronavirus to weapons research,” read a headline on a story in The Washington Post that focused on the facility.
That's what led to the exchange between Fauci and Andersen that we see in Markson's tweet, and in which Andersen responds to Fauci sending him the Cohen article. Reading between the lines, Andersen appears to be politely telling Fauci--Tony, you don't get it. A very small percentage of a genome can make a huge difference. Check it out:
Scientist Kristian Anderson told Fauci SARS-CoV-2 has “unusual features” that “potentially look engineered”.— Sharri Markson (@SharriMarkson) June 2, 2021
Not long after this email, the scientists authored a piece insisting the virus was natural and Fauci said the same publicly. This is a massive cover-up.
(Buzzfeed FOIA) pic.twitter.com/BD3OUzgDzR
These passages are really telling:
... the problem is that our phylogenetic analyses aren't able to answer whether the sequences are unusual at individual residues, except if they are completely off. On a phylogenetic tree the virus looks totally normal and the close clustering with bats suggest that bats serve as the reservoir. The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.
... Eddie, Bob, Mike, and myself all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory. ...
The email exchange took place January 31, 2020, to February 1, 2020. The implication is clear. Fauci knew at a very early date that not only did the USIC suspect engineering was involved, but world class scientists in the field suspected the same based on their own analysis.
Fauci needs to go back to the Senate for another session with Rand Paul. I think things are heating up. An interesting aside--according to John Solomon both Amazon and Barnes and Noble have scrubbed Fauci's forthcoming book. Do they know something?
UPDATE: Scott Hounsell at Red State has done some excellent additional investigation re Dr. Andersen, and it looks suspiciously like Andersen may have caved to the emerging consensus to absolve China of responsibility:
No wonder Andersen hasn't been shouting "I told you so!" ??