… and ended up lying to the world.
Much of Tuesday’s hearing focused on a critical few days in early February 2020, beginning with a conference call February 1 that included the eventual authors of the paper and Drs. Anthony Fauci, then head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Francis Collins, then head of its parent agency, the National Institutes of Health. Later minutes showed that the consensus among the experts leaned toward a lab escape. Yet within days, they were circulating a draft — including to Fauci and Collins — that came to the opposite conclusion, the first draft of which had been finished the same day of the conference call. How and why that rapid turnaround occurred has been the subject of much debate and interrogation.
The authors have said, and repeated during Tuesday’s hearing, that new data had changed their minds, but the new Slack messages and emails show that their initial inclination toward a lab escape remained long past that time.HTTPS://THEINTERCEPT.COM/2023/07/12/COVID-DOCUMENTS-HOUSE-REPUBLICANS/
The intel agencies’ assessment seems closer to the truth: https://www.dni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/assessments/Unclassified-Summary-of-Assessment-on-COVID-19-Origins.pdf (PDF)