The full story of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic starts long before the virus hit America’s shores and involves Fauci’s role in overseeing coronavirus research grants going to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Fauci, who is America’s highest paid career bureaucrat, has directed the health agency that approved hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal funding for experiments on bat coronaviruses that occurred at the Wuhan Institute for over half a decade. This funding has continued despite members of Fauci’s own office receiving information in 2016 that the Wuhan Institute did not even know how to disinfect their own laboratory equipment properly. As new emails show, Fauci had direct knowledge as early as 2017 of the bat coronavirus experiments being conducted at the Wuhan lab.
July 15, 2016
According to newly released Fauci emails from Judicial Watch, on July 15, 2016, Wuhan Institute of Virology Vice Director Yuan Zhiming asked members of Fauci’s office for help figuring out which kind of disinfectant to use for their laboratory. The Wuhan Institute did not know what disinfectants to use to clean their protective clothes, to clean the surface of the lab’s doors, or to disinfect “infectious materials indoor.”
A member of Fauci’s staff emailed back:
In March 2020, a member of Fauci’s staff recalled this incident and brought it up with colleagues in Fauci’s office so they could discuss how best to “navigate politics.”
October 1, 2017
Emails recently released by Judicial Watch also reveal that in 2017, more than two years before the pandemic, Fauci knew his health agency was funding research at the Wuhan Institute geared towards enabling bat coronaviruses to infect human cells. The emails confirm that Fauci and coronavirus researcher Peter Daszak have a personal relationship dating back to as early as 2017. The emails provide clear evidence Fauci knew that experiments were being conducted with the Wuhan Institute’s Dr. Shi to determine if “a novel bat origin coronavirus” could “infect human cells in the lab” and that Fauci’s own office was paying for them. On October 1, 2017, Daszak emailed Fauci:
The original version of the paper Daszak sent to Fauci is redacted but there are these unredacted images:
Daszak’s study got Fauci’s attention. On October 1, 2017, Fauci forwarded Daszak’s paper to another colleague:
December 9, 2019
Peter Daszak is listed as the “Principal Investigator” on the grant from Fauci’s agency to the Wuhan Institute. Dazak’s EcoHealth Alliance has received $3.7 million for bat coronavirus experiments and given over half a million of that funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to conduct testing and lab analysis of bat samples, federal records show.
Daszak has publicly boasted about conducting gain of function research on bat coronaviruses. On December 9, 2019, days before COVID-19 overtook Wuhan, Daszak said about coronaviruses: “You can manipulate them in the lab pretty easily.” He noted that some coronaviruses can “get into human cells in the lab[.]”
Given this historical background and Fauci’s extensive knowledge of the NIH grant funding his office had authorized for the Wuhan Institute, Fauci’s conduct over the seven days from January 23, 2020 to February 1, 2020, when COVID-19 began spreading across America, warrants further scrutiny.
January 23, 2020
On the first full day China quarantined the city of Wuhan, newly released emails from Judicial Watch show Fauci immediately wanted to know about NIH funding to the Wuhan lab. One of Fauci’s colleagues wrote:
Another one of Fauci’s colleagues wrote back:
January 27, 2020
On January 27, 2020, Daszak emailed Fauci’s staff and told them to “pass on to Tony” the information that “the Wuhan Institute” is “currently working on the nCoV,” or a novel coronavirus, and that they had previously “[f]ound SARS-related CoVs that can bind to human cells[.]”
January 31, 2020
On January 31, 2020, President Trump issued a travel ban on China, a move Fauci acknowledged helped save lives. That day, Fauci got an email from an NIH sponsored scientist Kristian Andersen telling him the virus looked potentially “engineered” and was “inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.”
Almost immediately after learning the virus could be “engineered,” Fauci wanted to know more about NIH’s involvement in gain of function experiments on coronaviruses conducted by Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the infamous Chinese “bat woman.” Fauci emailed his deputy, Dr. Hugh Auchincloss, and attached a 2015 study by Dr. Shi labeled “SARS Gain of function.”
At that moment, Fauci knew NIH had not only approved funding for the Wuhan Institute but that his office had directly provided funding to Dr. Shi to conduct dangerous gain of function experiments on bat coronaviruses. Ultimately, as recently released emails show, NIH was planning on providing the Wuhan Institute with a total of $1.5 million in funding to continue its dangerous coronavirus experiments. Fauci directly oversaw $826,277 in funding being sent to the Wuhan Institute over a 6-year period starting in 2014.
Moreover, NIH funding to the Wuhan lab persisted under Fauci’s direct purview despite the following obvious safety issues and scandals:
- In 2015, French intelligence warned the State Department that “China was cutting back on agreed collaboration at the lab.”
- On July 15, 2016, Wuhan Institute of Virology Vice Director Yuan Zhiming asked members of Fauci’s office for help figuring out which kind of disinfectant to use for their laboratory indicating that the Wuhan Institute was not prepared to conduct experiments on dangerous pathogens.
- In 2016, Dr. Shi publicly acknowledged she was conducting experiments on “live” bat coronaviruses in a “biosafety level 2” lab at the Wuhan Institute. As scientist Richard Ebright has noted, that is “the biosafety level of a US dentist’s office.”
- In 2017, French scientists were booted out of the Wuhan lab and all cooperation stopped between them and the Chinese. During this time, the State Department found that Chinese researchers at the Wuhan lab were engaging in “classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military[.]”
- On December 29, 2017, a video made public by Chinese state-run media shows Wuhan Institute researchers admitting they had been bitten by bats. The footage demonstrates that many were not wearing proper PPE when handling bats.
- In 2018, the State Department found that there was “a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory.”
- On September 12, 2019, the Wuhan Institute pulled offline its public database of 22,000 virus samples and sequences. Incredibly, the point person for Wuhan’s NIH grant, Peter Daszak, would later praise this move saying: “As you know, a lot of this work has been conducted with EcoHealth Alliance… There is no evidence of viruses closer to SARS-CoV-2 than RaTG13 in those databases, simple as that.”
- By mid-January 2020, a team of Chinese military scientists had “set up operations inside the Wuhan Institute[.]”
- In February 2020, it was made public that China had refused to let U.S. CDC experts into the country to observe its coronavirus outbreak for over a month.
- In March 2020, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency updated its assessment of COVID-19’s origin to include the possibility that the new coronavirus emerged “accidentally” due to “unsafe laboratory practices” at the Wuhan Institute.
- In March 2020, Fauci’s staff recalled the fact they’d learned in 2016 that the Wuhan lab did not know how to properly disinfect their equipment and discussed how best to “navigate politics” concerning that issue.
This entire time Fauci’s agency continued approving funding to Daszak and the Wuhan Institute of Virology. In fact, it was only after President Donald Trump directly ordered Fauci to cut funding on April 24, 2020 that Fauci “reluctantly” agreed to cancel the grant. Yet, just two months later, in August 2020, Fauci approved a new $7.5 million grant to Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance to conduct virtually the same research Daszak was overseeing at the Wuhan Institute.
The new program created by Fauci’s office now filters funding to a Chinese lab in Beijing. Fauci has for years voiced his public support for conducting gain of function experiments, believing that: “important information and insights can come from generating a potentially dangerous virus in the laboratory.” In 2017, Fauci pushed to lift the federal government’s gain of function research ban. Fauci recently maintained that “if you didn’t pursue that research,” at the Wuhan lab, “you would be negligent.”
February 1, 2020
As Representative Jim Jordan recently noted in a blockbuster hearing, from February 1, 2020 onward, Fauci incessantly pushed the narrative that COVID-19 did not come from the Wuhan lab. Fauci started sending the Trump administration “science” contradicting the lab leak theory immediately after the theory was first floated, emailing an article arguing that COVID-19 originated naturally to Robert Kadlec, a political appointee in the Trump administration.
The article Fauci sent called the lab leak theory one of many “conspiracy theories.” Fauci’s email to Kadlec did not mention that just hours earlier NIH supported researcher, Andersen, had advised Fauci that COVID-19 was potentially “engineered.”
On February 1, 2020, Fauci also met secretly with 11 prominent scientists from around the world, including Kristian Andersen, who had just told Fauci the virus was potentially “engineered.” “I suggested we bring together a multidisciplinary team,” Fauci told USA Today. Fauci said he wanted to “to ensure as many opinions as possible” were on the call. But no one from the Trump administration was invited. Fauci noted that “some on the call felt it could possibly be an engineered virus.” But Fauci said, “I felt then, and still do, the most likely origin was in an animal host.”
By the end of the meeting, multiple influential scientists were not just persuaded to adopt Dr. Fauci’s view that the virus had not leaked from the Wuhan lab, they were poised to participate in a relentless campaign to steer media coverage and control the flow of information away from the idea that the virus could have been “engineered” in the Wuhan lab.
Take the case of researchers Kristian Andersen, Ed Holmes, and Bob Garry who told Dr. Fauci that they all found COVID-19’s “genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory” on January 31, 2020. As Rep. Jim Jordan recently noted, these same scientists published a paper in Nature in March 2020 asserting that: “[W]e do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible.” Fauci appears to have been directly involved with the creation of this “scientific” paper. On March 6, 2020, Andersen wrote to Fauci:
On March 8, 2020, Fauci emailed Andersen back:
Fauci would then cite the paper he provided “advice and leadership” to produce in a White House press conference on April 17, 2020. Fauci was asked by a reporter whether he could address “concerns” that the virus “possibly came out of a laboratory in China?” This was the perfect opportunity for Fauci to tell the American people what he knew since January 31, 2020 – that the virus had potentially been “engineered” in a Chinese lab and that NIH had been funding that lab for years.
Instead, Fauci referenced the study he helped concoct that claimed COVID-19 was “not a laboratory construct.” Fauci did not even disclose to the public that he was involved in the drafting and publication of the study. Fauci then shared the study he had helped write with various news organizations, maintaining that it was the “scientific” explanation for the origin of COVID-19. On April 20, 2020, for example, Fauci emailed a reporter with the Washington Times saying:
The media then used Fauci’s manufactured study to castigate claims that the virus had come from a Chinese lab. The Washington Post cited it, USA Today referenced it, and the Associated Press quoted it to push back on the view held by President Trump that COVID-19 may have leaked from the Wuhan lab. In addition, an army of fact-check websites like Factcheck.org and Politi-Fact relied on the study contrived by Fauci to slam any discussion of the lab leak theory as “baseless, a “conspiracy theory,” and “debunked.” Facebook then in turn relied on these media fact-checks and articles that were based on the manufactured “science” study commissioned by Dr. Fauci to censor any discussion on social media of the claim that COVID-19 was manufactured in a lab in China.
Fauci did such a good job of diverting attention away from the Wuhan Institute that Peter Daszak emailed Fauci thanking him.
While Fauci was obscuring his agency’s involvement in coronavirus research in Wuhan, he was also downplaying the severity of the virus to the American people.
On January 27, 2020, Fauci publicly opposed travel restrictions on China saying: “That would create a lot of disruption economically and otherwise and it wouldn’t necessarily have a positive effect.”
On February 7, 2020, Fauci was asked if he had “any more information about where [COVID-19] came from?” Fauci responded, “No, I mean obviously, if you look at the history of these viruses, we have SARS, which we know, after much experimenting, and epidemiological, molecular epidemiology, it went from a bat, to a civet cat, to a human.” Fauci added: “[T]here’s all kinds of conspiracy theories, as you know, going around on the internet with social media about deliberate or accidental release, etcetera, etcetera.”
On February 9, 2020, Fauci met with former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who asked Fauci about the lab leak theory. Fauci said: “Well, I think ultimately, we know that these things come from an animal reservoir. I’ve heard these conspiracy theories and like all conspiracy theories, Newt, they’re just conspiracy theories.”
On February 17, 2020, Fauci opined that the danger of the coronavirus was “just minuscule” but that Americans should be worried about the “real and present danger” of seasonal flu.
On February 29, 2020, Fauci asserted, “Right now, at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis. Right now, the risk is still low[.]”
On March 9, 2020, Fauci commented that: “If you are a healthy young person, there is no reason if you want to go on a cruise ship, go on a cruise ship.”
Fauci’s obfuscation of the potential Wuhan lab leak had real world consequences. One study found that if China had been more transparent with the world about how dangerous COVID-19 was and quarantined Wuhan just three weeks earlier, the number of people infected with the virus would have been reduced by 95%.
Most importantly, if Fauci had come clean and told President Trump in January 2020 that COVID-19 had the hallmarks of being “engineered” and that the NIH was funding the Wuhan lab, imagine how the American government’s response could have changed. The White House would have known before a single American died that the virus was likely manipulated by the Chinese and therefore extremely dangerous. The U.S. could have led a coalition of nations in conducting a comprehensive investigation of the Wuhan Institute, and Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia could have cut off travel more quickly from China. At the very least, American taxpayer dollars could have stopped flowing to the Wuhan lab, which continued receiving U.S. funding until April 2020.
Yet, Fauci intentionally omitted evidence that the Wuhan Institute could be the source of the virus, potentially because an investigation into the laboratory would ultimately implicate him. Senator Rand Paul certainly thinks it does. He recently filed a criminal referral against Fauci. Senator Paul claims Fauci lied to Congress when Fauci said under oath in May 2020: “The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute[.]” Fauci responded to Sen. Paul by saying: “I have never lied, certainly not before Congress. Case closed.” But this case is wide open and there is over half a decade of evidence that appears to contradict Fauci’s claims.
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