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Scientist Who Warned Fauci COVID Could Be 'Engineered' Deletes Twitter Account

Newsweek logo Newsweek 6/7/2021 Anders Anglesey
Anthony S. Fauci wearing a suit and tie: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss the on-going federal response to Covid-19 on May 11, 2021 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC © JIM LO SCALZO / POOL / AFP/Getty Images Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss the on-going federal response to Covid-19 on May 11, 2021 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC

A virologist who said during the early phase of the pandemic that some of COVID's features "(potentially) look engineered" in an email to Dr. Anthony Fauci has deleted his Twitter account.

Kristian G. Andersen of the Scripps Research Institute removed his page on the social media platform following the release of email exchanges between himself and Dr. Fauci. His account was no longer accessible on Sunday, June 6, according to the internet archive The Wayback Machine.

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Before Andersen's account was deleted, the virologist faced explosive claims that the email exchange about his changing views on how the virus came into being showed evidence of a cover-up.

Days before the account was removed Andersen responded to Sky News host Sharri Markson's claims that Fauci had been part of a "cover-up" and said: "I know it's super mundane, but it isn't actually a 'massive cover-up' Sharri.

"It's just science. Boring, I know, but it's quite a helpful thing to have in times of uncertainty."

The spotlight fell on Andersen after The Washington Post and Buzzfeed last week released an email exchange between the virologist and Dr. Fauci that had been obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

In an email sent to Fauci on January 31, 2020, Andersen said some of SARS-CoV-2's features "(potentially) look engineered."

He later added that the "unusual features of the virus" made up a "really small part" of the genome.

Andersen continued: "We have a good team lined up to look very critically at this, so we should know much more by the end of the weekend."

He added following discussions with his team that they "all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory. But we have to look at this much more closely and there are still further analyses to be done, so those opinions could still change."

On March 17, 2020, Andersen and his colleagues published a paper in Nature Medicine in which they claimed COVID was not created in a lab or "purposefully manipulated."

Following the publication of the emails by The Washington Post and Buzzfeed, however, questions were raised regarding Andersen's earlier comments in his exchange with Dr. Fauci.

Roger Pielke Jr., professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, asked Andersen on Twitter about what he meant by "all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory."

In a reply, Andersen said: "It specifically means we thought - on preliminary look - that the virus could have been engineered and/ or manipulated. Turns out the data suggest otherwise - which is the conclusion of our paper."

Andersen last month defended his findings in his research paper in comments made to Newsweek.

He said the Wuhan lab leak idea was "based purely on speculation" and that he had not found any "credible evidence" to back it up.

Andersen continued: "All statements in our article were supported by evidence available at the time, and they have only since been further strengthened by additional evidence, of which there is a great deal."

Newsweek has contacted Andersen for comment.

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