AMAC Exclusive – By W.J. Lee
Well over three years after the first recorded case of COVID-19 in the United States, Americans are still learning shocking new details about the complete lack of honesty and integrity displayed by some of the most prominent members of the scientific and medical community during the pandemic.
Last month, Sen. Rand Paul, (R-KY), asked Matthew Graves, the top federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., to investigate Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for lying to Congress.
In a letter to Graves, Paul alleges that Fauci lied about his knowledge of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and cites a portion of the U.S. Code which states, “whoever makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation” before a House or Senate committee is subject to criminal fines and up to five years in prison.
Paul’s letter stems from a report from the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic released in July which found that Fauci pressured eminent scientists to disregard their own evidence pointing to a lab leak origin of the virus. Instead, according to the report, they published “one of the single most impactful and influential scientific papers in history” that argued for a natural origins genesis of the virus that was “not based on sound science nor in fact.”
Why would our nation’s top scientists commit intentional scientific malpractice? Fauci and former NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said in private emails they wanted to protect China and the international scientific community, with Collins fearing that “the voices of conspiracy will quickly dominate” – voices that, in the case of those arguing that the lab leak theory should be investigated, turned out to be likely correct.
These recent revelations are yet more evidence that the actions of Fauci and others throughout the pandemic were complicated by a desire to cover for themselves and their peers, not the pursuit of truth and accountability.
While congressional Republicans have rightly continued to work to reveal the truth about what Fauci knew and when, another, perhaps more concerning question is why other top scientists were so quick to capitulate to Fauci’s non-scientific, political conclusions.
For example, Dr. Kristian Andersen emailed Fauci on January 31, 2020, to report his team had found the virus’s genome to be “inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory” – suggesting that the virus did not arise naturally and instead appeared engineered.
But then a bizarre thing happened. Within four days, Andersen co-wrote an influential article promoting the natural origin theory and repudiating his own lab leak hypotheses by calling it a “crackpot theory,” in another email on February 4.
What changed his mind? No new evidence came to light in that short timeframe.
Yet one significant development in those four days was a teleconference between Andersen’s team and their funding agency – headed by Fauci. After the meeting, Anderson fell in line.
So much for the sacrosanct scientific method and corroboration by independent research. Money apparently speaks loudly and the potential threat of pulled funding is deafening.
But the pandemic didn’t spawn this problem, even if it revealed how deep the rot goes.
Nicholas Wade, the famed former editor at the New York Times, Nature Journal, and Science Journal, testified before Congress in March that our scientists’ coronavirus doublespeak, at the behest of Fauci, is a symptom of a much larger problem in America’s scientific research apparatus.
“Scientists,” Wade said, are “easily kept in line because of their dependence on government grants. They hesitated to dispute a position that had the backing of powerful scientific officials, such as Fauci and Francis Collins…Hearing few or no dissident voices from the scientific community, the national media swallowed the natural origin story unskeptically.”
Wade’s testimony highlights the alarming truth that Americans may not be able to rely on scientists to independently verify findings because of the way government grants work.
Similarly the funding for pharmaceutical research often comes from corporate interests that cause “sponsorship bias” in the conclusions.
Reforming the top American research apparatus to follow its own scientific method is a must. We would do well to learn from one of the oldest scientific communities in the world, the Royal Society of London, founded in the 1660s.
Its Latin motto, “nullius in verba,” translated to mean “take nobody’s word for it,” establishes the duty a scientist has to be loyal to the facts. Each member is to withstand the domination of authority by verifying findings with their own independent work.
This is the structural reform our nation’s top research agencies need. It’s time for an American scientific declaration of independence from the bonds of manipulative bureaucracy.
W.J. Lee has served in the White House, NASA, on multiple political campaigns, and in nearly all levels of government. In his free time, he enjoys the “three R’s” – reading, writing, and running.