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Fauci and the suppression of the Covid-19 lab leak theory

Dr. Anthony Fauci. Considered by many as the adult in the room during the Covid-19 pandemic amid a chaotic Donald Trump presidency, and by others as an untrustworthy non-MAGA attention seeker with a dark secret to hide. The latter conspiracy has never lost its power, and in his testimony before the House Oversight and Accountability Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, the former US infectious disease expert strongly denied accusations of suppressing the theory that Covid-19 emerged from a laboratory leak in China. This was Fauci’s first public speech on the allegations since a 14-hour closed-door hearing in January.

What did Fauci say about the Chinese lab and the Covid leak?

Dr. Fauci, who retired in December 2022 after a distinguished 54-year career at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), including 38 years as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), claimed he never influenced the investigation into the origins of the virus. He reiterated his belief that animal-to-human transmission is the most plausible source of the pandemic.

“I have always been very clear that the concept of a lab leak is not necessarily a conspiracy theory,” Fauci said. “What is conspiratorial is the distortions of that subject, such as claims that I ordered the CIA to suppress discussions about laboratory leaks.”

Why is Dr. Fauci questioned?

The subcommittee investigated the origins of Covid-19 and uncovered emails suggesting that top NIH officials tried to circumvent public records laws by deleting correspondence and using private emails. These emails implicate some officials, including longtime Fauci aide David Morens, in potentially illegal activities to hide public records.

Fauci downplayed his association with Morens, noting that their offices were in separate buildings and expressing uncertainty about whether Morens reported directly to him. Fauci also denied ever using private emails for government business, despite Morens’ testimony that he may have sent such emails to Fauci’s personal account.

To take care of the problem, Fauci alleged that Morens had repeatedly violated NIAID policy and denied any attempts to circumvent Freedom of Information Act requests.

Death threats to Fauci took their toll

In addition to responding to questions about the various theories and links to Morens, Fauci also emphasized the personal toll of the allegations: detailing intimidation and death threats against him and his family. These threats came after he became a target by many Republican lawmakers its pandemic policies and support for Covid-19 vaccines, in addition to unsubstantiated claims about his involvement in a massive cover-up linked to the origins of the pandemic. The investigation continues.

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