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US virologist who warned of seemingly 'engineered' features of COVID-19 closes Twitter account: media

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-11 10:21

WASHINGTON -- A US virologist deleted his Twitter account after his email exchange with top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci was exposed, which included claims that some of the novel coronavirus' features "(potentially) look engineered," according to a recent report by US magazine Newsweek.

The account of Kristian G. Andersen, a professor at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research, was no longer accessible on June 6, Newsweek quoted the Internet archive The Wayback Machine as saying.

In an email sent to Fauci on Jan 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.

The email exchange between him and Fauci had been released by The Washington Post and Buzzfeed.

Andersen noted that following discussions with his team, 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," according to the report.

While defending the findings in his research paper, he also told Newsweek that the Wuhan lab leak idea was "based purely on speculation" and that he had not found any "credible evidence" to back it up.

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