Fauci distances himself from NIH scandal ahead of House COVID hearing

Anthony Fauci, the former government scientist seen as the face of the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is distancing himself from former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease aides who apparently tried to circumvent public records laws .

In his opening statement published online ahead of Monday's hearing, Fauci said he “didn't know anything” about the actions of David Morens, a senior adviser to the agency whose emails discovered by the committee appear to show that he is trying to hide information from disclosure under transparency laws. .

Morens “was not an advisor to me on institutional policy or other substantive issues,” Fauci wrote. “He is a scientist, writer and historian.”

Morens' emails discovered by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic also appear to indicate that Fauci wanted to conduct official business with his private email to prevent potentially sensitive comments from being made public.

“I can send things to Tony via his private gmail, or hand him over at work or at his home,” Morens wrote in an April 2021 email. “He's too smart to let coworkers send him things that cause problems can cause.”

But in his prepared testimony, Fauci strongly pushed back against the implication.

“[To] To my knowledge, I have never conducted official business through my personal email,” he wrote.

Republicans on the subcommittee have spent the past year and a half sifting through official documents and emails, looking for evidence linking Fauci to the origins of the virus and potentially dangerous viral research conducted at a lab in Wuhan, China.

The panel's investigation found no new evidence definitively linking U.S. health officials to the origins of the coronavirus, but it did raise troubling questions about officials' efforts to avoid transparency.

In his testimony, Fauci reiterated his position that the viruses being studied with federally funded grants at the Wuhan Institute of Virology “have never been shown to infect humans, let alone have high transmissibility or cause significant morbidity and mortality in humans,” and so that was the case. no gain-of-function research.

That research in the Wuhan laboratory did not produce the SARS-CoV-2 virus that caused the pandemic, and any suggestion that otherwise “is without the slightest evidence or feasibility,” he wrote.

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