Jim Jordan Says Dr. Fauci Now 'Afraid' To Discuss COVID After Email Release

Ohio congressman Jim Jordan has claimed Dr. Anthony Fauci is unwilling to appear in public to speak about the COVID-19 pandemic following the release of his emails.

Speaking to Newsmax, Jordan suggested the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is "afraid of something," after he declined to appear at a House meeting regarding the origins of COVID-19 on Tuesday, which was attended solely by Republican lawmakers.

Like many other GOP figures, Jordan criticized Fauci following the release of thousands of his emails, published as part of a Freedom of Information Act request by a number of media outlets.

Fauci, already the target of criticism from the GOP during the pandemic, was accused of knowing that the virus could have been engineered and leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China, before he publicly acknowledged that possibility.

The claims center around an email Fauci sent on January 31, 2020, to Kristian G. Andersen, of Scripps Research, who warned the virus "[potentially] look engineered."

"For a year and a half, you couldn't go a day without seeing Dr. Fauci on the news, on the front page of the paper," Jordan told Newsmax anchor Grant Stinchfield.

"Time [magazine] made him 'person of the world', 'person of the millennium', whatever it was. He was everywhere," Jordan added. Time Magazine did not name person of the world, person of the millennium or person of the year in 2020. He was named, along with frontline healthcare workers, as one of the "guardians of the year."

"But now, when suddenly we understand that he was on notice as early as January 31, at 10:32 p.m., when he got an email from one of the neurologists who gets our tax dollars, Dr. Anderson, he got an email for him saying, look, 'this virus looks engineered, it is not consistent with evolutionary theory.'

"Dr. Fauci was on notice about this thing coming from the lab and being engineer. And what did he do? He tried to cover his tracks and hide that information from the American people for over a year."

Jordan added: "If I'm wrong, why wouldn't Dr. Fauci come in answer our questions, because he's afraid of something."

Jordan added that the claims surrounding Fauci should "tick off every American" as the U.S. response to the pandemic, under guidelines from Fauci and other experts, saw businesses close, some of which never reopened.

"It was Dr. Fauci who was the catalyst for all this. He was the spokesperson for all this, this mindset. And yet he doesn't have the decency to come in today and talk to us after what looks like a cover-up to me."

There is no proof that the virus emanated from a lab. Fauci has long believed that it was spread from animal to human, but has not completely ruled it came from a lab leak.

The NIAID has been contacted for comment.

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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaks during a Republican-led forum on the origins of the COVID-19 virus at the U.S. Capitol on June 29, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images