ICAN has obtained more emails sent by Dr. Anthony Fauci which bring additional clarity to the behind-the-scenes push to have the White House and media conclude that COVID-19 evolved naturally and did not leak from a lab. These emails fill in additional puzzle pieces of what Fauci may have known and whose interests he was really seeking to protect.
Let’s start with a bit of background. In 2020, ICAN made several Freedom of Information Act requests to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for documents regarding COVID-19, including two requests for Dr. Anthony Fauci’s emails. After the NIH failed to respond, ICAN, through its attorneys, sued the agency in federal court. In response to that lawsuit, the NIH has been producing documents to ICAN on a rolling basis.
In its most precent production, ICAN received 156 pages of Dr. Fauci’s emails regarding COVID-19 and 54 pages of his emails regarding Moderna. Three emails from the COVID-19 production are particularly noteworthy in filling in the story of Fauci’s involvement with steering blame away from the Wuhan lab.
Let’s start with emails recently obtained by members of Congress which show that from February 1-4, 2020, Fauci was advised that the virus most likely leaked from a lab according to many of the world’s leading virologists.
And from a prior production obtained by ICAN, we know that in emails from February 5-6, 2020, Fauci was asked to recommend names for a World Health Organization group with the broad mission to “look at the origins and evolution of 2019n-CoV,” but responded by seeking to reframe the mission in a manner that would only look for a natural and not lab-made origin. He does this by restating the mission as one to “examine the evolutionary origin of the 2019-nCoV” and later that day as the “coronavirus evolution working group.”
In the production ICAN just received, we now have an email from February 10 in which it is clear that the White House had adopted Fauci’s approach of focusing on the evolutionary origin of COVID-19, apparently already discounting any potential lab origin. In an email, the Assistant Director for Biotechnology in the Executive Office of the President states: “We realize how busy you and Dr. Fauci are right now, but wanted to follow up regarding … a continued focus with regard to evolutionary origin.”
So, on February 5, 2020, the goal in an email to Fauci was to “look at the origins and evolution of 2019n-CoV” – which would include potentially originating from a lab – but later that day, Fauci reformulates the goal to only “examine the evolutionary origin of the 2019-nCoV” and a bit later that day as the “coronavirus evolution working group.” Fauci is anything but dumb. He clearly was changing the approach to only recognize a potential evolutionary theory, and not a lab theory, of origin. Then just a few days later, the White House representative emails to “follow up regarding … a continued focus with regard to evolutionary origin.”
The lab-leak theory, however, continued to pop up and, from Fauci emails ICAN previously obtained, we know that Fauci even asks a Deputy Director at NIAID on February 22, 2020 to “Please handle” an email received by a group of doctors and scientists, including a virologist, that stated: “we think there is a possibility that the virus was released from a lab in wuhan (sic).” In February 28, 2020 emails, Fauci keeps repeating the narrative that it was a jump from bats through some natural non-lab means that was the origin of the virus. In another email on March 1, 2020, Fauci says “Outstanding!!” to CBS’s chief medical correspondent for producing a video that describes the origin of the virus as “jumping from animals to people.”
As part of the emails ICAN just obtained, we now know that on March 2, 2020, just a day after his private email with CBS, Fauci’s deputy director explains that the main talking point for the media, including to the New York Times, Science, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, etc., is that the “joint mission (including the WHO) focused on key questions related to the natural history of and severity of COVID-19[.]” So, again, the focus was on only one theory, natural evolution of the virus, and cast aside the idea that the virus could have originated in a lab.
It is indeed incredible that despite the virus appearing out of nowhere, and despite nobody knowing almost anything about the virus, including how to treat the disease it causes, how it is transmitted, etc., Fauci somehow already knew one thing for certain within weeks of its appearance: it was not from a lab!
There may have been others in the government who also found Fauci’s approach unsettling. In an email from April 2020, a representative from the U.S. Department of State, whose name was redacted in the emails, emailed Fauci regarding the Wuhan lab, stating that they were “conducting a research (sic) on China’s bio safety issue for Secretary Pompeo.” The email goes on to ask Fauci to provide information regarding Fauci’s agency’s involvement with the Wuhan lab, including:
- “observations, exchanges and agreements with the [Wuhan lab] on the issue of bio safety;”
- “Bio safety enforcement and inspection mechanisms at [Wuhan lab] or at any other Chinese high BSL labs your institutes have interacted with;” and
- “The extent to which the U.S. has been involved in building the Chinese labs and helping enforce the safety standard and inspections.”
Secretary Pompeo’s request to Fauci may belie a concern regarding Fauci’s railroading of the lab-leak theory.
What we do know is that these emails reveal that there was an ongoing approach from early in the pandemic – when even basic information about the virus was not yet known – to dismiss the theory that the virus could have leaked from the Wuhan lab. This is especially concerning since NIH recently admitted that taxpayer dollars were used to fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan.
ICAN does not intend to stop until it has uncovered every piece of the puzzle regarding Fauci, his agency’s involvement in the Wuhan Lab and involvement in the origin of SARS-CoV-2, including every action they took with regard to these issues both before and after the start of the pandemic.