Dr. Anthony Fauci was confronted on Sunday about communist China's alleged cover-up of the COVID-19 pandemic origins.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden responded by taking a shot at the Trump administration.
What did Fauci say?
Speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation," Fauci seemingly defended China's refusal to be transparent, even apparently justifying it because the Chinese are "suspicious" of anyone trying to blame them for the pandemic.
"The Chinese — not necessarily the scientists that we know and we have dealt with and collaborated with productively for decades — but the whole establishment ... even when there's nothing at all to hide, they act secretive, which absolutely triggers an appropriate suspicion," Fauci said.
But he quickly dismissed the possibility that COVID-19 was anything but a "natural occurrence."
"If you look at the examination by highly qualified international scientists, with no political agendas, they've published in peer-reviewed journals that the evidence is quite strong that this is a natural occurrence," Fauci said.
To uncover the origins of COVID-19, then, Fauci said there must be collaboration between China and the rest of the world in a "non-accusatory way," which was a clear shot at former President Donald Trump, who vocally blamed China for the pandemic.
"What happens is that if you look at the anti-China approach that clearly the Trump administration had right from the very beginning, and the accusatory nature," Fauci said, "the Chinese, they're going to flinch back and say, 'No, I'm sorry, we're not going to talk to you about it,' which is not correct."
When host Margaret Brennan noted the Chinese are not cooperating with the Biden administration either — thus suggesting their lack of transparency is not rooted in Trump's "accusatory nature" — Fauci doubled down on his claims.
"I think that horse is out of the barn and they're very suspicious of anybody trying to accuse them," he said.
Fauci on RSV, COVID-19 origins and what comes after retirementyoutu.be
What else did he say?
In another interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," Fauci was more explicit in denying that China is to blame.
"I don't mean this in a broad pejorative way, but in anything that we've had to do over decades — whether it's bird flu, H5N1, H7N9, or the original SARS in 2002 — even when there's nothing to hide, [the Chinese government] act in a suspicious, non-transparent way just probably because they don't want to make it look like there's a blame," Fauci said.
"When the reality is, if something evolves in your country, it’s not to blame, but let's find out what went on so we can be transparent about it and prevent it for the next time happening," he added.