Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force, panned the conspiracy theory that China's outbreak began at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in an interview with National Geographic published Monday.
'If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what's out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated,' Fauci said.
'Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species.'
He also shut down an alternate theory that someone found the virus in the wild and brought it to a lab before it accidentally leaked.
Fauci's comments came as Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have continued to suggest there is evidence supporting the lab leak theory.