Fauci Squirms During GOP Grilling Over COVID, Pandemic Response

By TYLER DURDEN – Zerohedge

Update (1530ET): Former NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci was grilled by Republicans during Monday testimony in front of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, where he repeatedly denied Republican allegations that he sought to cover up the COVID-19 lab-leak theory – calling the accusation “absolutely false and simply preposterous.”

In his opening statement, Fauci denied trying to silence officials and scientists who thought the virus was created in, or at least escaped from, the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.

“The accusation being circulated that I influenced these scientists to change their minds by bribing them with millions of dollars in grant money is absolutely false and simply preposterous. I had no input into the content of the published paper,” said Fauci. “The second issue is a false accusation that I tried to cover up the possibility that the virus originated from a lab. In fact, the truth is exactly the opposite.”

Following his opening statement Fauci was grilled over the government’s response to the pandemic – defending the CDC over mask mandates, lockdowns, and other public policy – while Democrats on the panel repeatedly bent over backwards to defend him.

Rep. Michael Cloud (R-TX) got into a heated exchange Fauci over the measures – at one point forcing the former NIAID director to admit that the Covid-19 vaccine doesn’t stop transmission.

Cloud then held Fauci’s feet to the fire over masking children.

“Mask mandates for children under the age of five? There’s scientific evidence supporting that?” Cloud asked.

“There was no study that did masks on kids before,” Fauci admitted. “You couldn’t do the study. You had to respond to an epidemic that was killing 4-5,000 Americans a day.

‘It just appeared’

When asked where school guidelines came from, Fauci essentially shrugged – defending the mandates and claiming out of nowhere that “another million people would have died” without them.

“The CDC was responsible for those kinds of guidelines for schools, not me. So when I said that, it just appeared. It appeared. Was there any science behind it? What I meant by no science behind it is that there wasn’t a controlled trial,” he said, adding: “That said, compare six foot with three feet with ten feet. So there wasn’t that scientific evaluation of it,” said Fauci – who suggested that the unscientific mandates were necessary anyway, because had they not done so, “another million people would have died.”

Cloud also grilled Fauci over sending taxpayer dollars to Wuhan.

Republicans on the panel also presented Fauci with emails suggesting that his former aides were trying to evade public records laws at the agency he ran for 38 years. In one April 2021 message, an aide said that while Fauci “prides himself on being like teflon,” he appeared to be “getting worried about the brown stuff hitting the fan” over gain-of-function research being funded in Wuhan via New York nonprofit, EcoHealth alliance.

At one point, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) brought up a report that NIH scientists made over $700 million on COVID-19 royalties.

The 83-year-old then maneuvered around questions over vaccine efficacy.

He did get into it with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) who issued a sternly worded soundbite.

Fauci then went for the sympathy vote – telling the panel he receives constant threats.

All in all, Fauci is one slick 83-year-old who we doubt will ever face the law over his role in the Covid-19 pandemic and the government’s response.

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Update (1000ET): Here it is – Fauci appears before the House Select Subcommittee to answer questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlights below:

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Authored by Roger Marshall via The Epoch Times,

A million Americans died from COVID-19, marking one of the darkest chapters in our nation’s history. Four years later, more than 10 million Americans are still suffering from long COVID. We continue to fight for accountability.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, in his role as chief medical adviser to the president, insisted upon mask and vaccine mandates, lockdowns, and overstated vaccine efficacy, often disregarding the public’s and private medical professional’s ability to assess the facts.

Many lessons must be learned from Dr. Fauci’s tenure, highlighting the need for supervision and ethical leadership. As a physician, I believe in informing patients of the truth and collaborating on plans.

This week, he will testify before the House of Representatives. We must demand answers for the numerous unresolved issues related to his potential role in the origins of COVID-19, and the subsequent alleged cover-up. Here are several questions I hope are asked:

Dr. Fauci has advocated for and funded risky gain of function (GOF) research for more than 30 years. He was undoubtedly aware of the history of the engineering and structural problems, along with sloppy procedural issues, at the labs in Wuhan, China.

Risky GOF Research: After learning of the possibility of a lab leak from respected scientists, did Dr. Fauci consult the appropriate government agencies at the National Biosurveillance Integration Center, National Center for Medical Intelligence, and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office, all stacked with experts about the risky research at the unsafe Wuhan Institute of Virology? Evidence indicates he consulted private sector scientists with significant conflicts of interest, as they depended on his research funds. Dr. Fauci has never conceded to seeking advice from the correct government channels, why?

He knew the Chinese military was involved in all research at Wuhan laboratories, including that China’s military ran a bioweapons program at the Wuhan Institute of Virology labs. Yet, Dr. Fauci continued to use taxpayer money to fund the research projects in Wuhan, China.

Caught in a Lie: Dr. Fauci previously testified before Congress that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) wasn’t funding GOF research. Based on current information, Dr. Fauci has been caught in a lie and should answer for it. Not only has the NIH admitted to funding GOF research, they then changed the definition of GOF research to allow continued foreign research funding. What was Dr. Fauci’s role in changing this definition to secure additional funding?

Continuing Deadly Research at U.S. Taxpayers Expense: China locked us out of Wuhan after the novel coronavirus emerged and refused to share the DNA sequence of SARS-CoV-2 and other valuable information. Dr. Fauci must explain how America benefited from these grants to EcoHealth Alliance and other U.S.-funded GOF research conducted in foreign nations.

Oversight Within NIH Grant Process: Dr. Fauci must also be held accountable for overseeing the NIH grant process. We uncovered and sounded the alarm back in October of 2021 that EcoHealth Alliance was out of compliance with NIH grant policies and had not submitted its year-five report. Why did it continue to receive funding?

When confronted about this, Dr. Fauci claimed ignorance, although it was his responsibility to ensure compliance with these grants. This lack of oversight highlights the immediate need for increased accountability at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the necessity for its own inspector general.

When following the evidence, Dr. Fauci often sought counsel from questionable advisers and scientists with clear conflicts of interest.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act mandates that advice given to the federal government by advisory committees be objective, transparent, and publicly accessible. However, email records show that Dr. Fauci consulted his close network of private scientists, some of whom financially benefited from the NIH grants that Dr. Fauci oversees, and some in that group were waiting on a grant approval worth up to $9 million.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act: Why in February 2020 did Dr. Fauci hold closed advisory committee meetings with scientists who are dependent on his NIH funding, violating the Federal Advisers Committee Act’s requirements for transparency and balanced viewpoints?

Importantly, after that meeting, the Fauci-led group published the “Proximal Origins” theory, concluding that SARS-CoV-2 emerged as a ”natural virus.” Once published, Dr. Fauci seemingly embarked on a mass media cover-up and touted that opinion piece that he orchestrated as scientific fact, even referencing it from the White House podium.

Proximal Origins Theory: Dr. Fauci should be asked why he presumably used his power to manipulate science and publish factually incorrect articles to downplay the lab leak theory. Why was Dr. Fauci directing articles in science journals and pushing his debunked proximal origins theory narrative? Was his involvement so deep that he was manufacturing and rewriting history to evade the responsibility and the role he had in this virus outbreak?

Blocking FOIA Requests: It’s also curious that after Dr. Fauci was questioned by our Senate HELP committee in May 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services shut down all Freedom of Information Act requests. Was Dr. Fauci involved in any discussions for this decision? Why was that decision made?

Many people also don’t know that Dr. Fauci received two government salaries simultaneously, making him the highest-paid federal employee ever. He was both the director of the NIAID and the director of civilian biodefense, which was operating with a $6 billion budget.

Highest-Paid Federal Employee in History: Dr. Fauci should be asked to explain how the attribution of potential intentional pathogen deployment (which he was tasked to oversee and manage) is assessed and how the action plan is developed and implemented. If he can’t adequately answer these questions when asked, he should return the salary and related pension immediately.

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