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Dr. Anthony Fauci’s e-mails are generating two types of impressions: the one from the media such as CNN, BuzzFedd News or The Washington Post, where we read reviews about the difficulty of facing a pandemic, the few hours of sleep that the scientist had to endure and his “leadership” capacity to go against “disinformation.”
The other side of the coin belongs to those who see Dr. Fauci as a person who is a charlatan. Fauci is seen as a person who forgot about scientific evidence and devoted himself to pandemic political calculations in favor of state bureaucracy.
Many of those emails might compromise Anthony Fauci, who received several interesting pieces of advice that were barely read and responded with a “thank you for your note.”
There are also emails sent that call attention, because in the early days of the pandemic, back in February 2020, Dr. Fauci assured that the masks found in pharmacies were not effective in preventing contagion due to the size of the virus. He agreed with closing schools despite the evidence that children are infected at a lower rate than adults and also collaborated with the story to qualify the laboratory leak theory as a conspiracy.
Another impression left by the emails is that Dr. Fauci was always making calculations with the pandemic. Decisions were mostly made according to how public opinion was evolving. That may explain why, suddenly, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced the end of masks after various scientific experts and public opinion began to pressure health authorities, including Dr. Fauci.
“The Fauci emails just show that Fauci consistently took the path of least resistance: downplaying the Wuhan lab leak theory, flip-flopping on masking, militantly fighting Rand Paul over post-covid immunity even though he knew better (Paul was right),” Ben Shapiro, editor emeritus of the Daily Wire, wrote on Twitter.
“Fauci wasn’t following science as a primary goal. He was a bureaucratic institutionalist, which is precisely what you would expect from a career bureaucrat,” Shapiro added.
All a cover-up?
The primary and first concern revealed by Fauci’s emails relates to the origins of COVID-19. On Jan. 31, Fauci sent researcher Kristian G. Andersen and Jeremy Farrar, who runs a global health charity in Britain, an email with the Science journal article called “Mining coronavirus genomes for clues to the origin of the outbreak.”
“This just came out today. You may have seen it. If not, it is of interest to the current discussion,” Fauci wrote to Andersen.
In his response, the researcher explained to Fauci that, “On a phylogenetic tree the virus looks totally normal and the close clustering with bats suggest that bats serve as the reservoir. The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (< 0.1 %) so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.”
In another paragraph, the sender mentions that four people, “Eddie, Bob, Mike, and myself all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory. But we have to look at this much more closely and there are still further analyses to be done, so those opinions could still change.”
On February 1, Fauci wrote an e-mail to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) deputy director Hugh Auchincloss. The subject line of the email read “Important” and the email attachment was titled: “Barc, Shi et al-Nature medicine – SARC Gain of function.pdf.”
According to The National Pulse, the email has an accompanying academic paper titled, “A SARS-like cluster bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence.”
The abstract of that article fits what it refers to as a “gain of function:”
“Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone. The results indicate that group 2b viruses encoding the SHC014 spike in a wild-type backbone can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV.”
Gain-of-function was described by Dr. Fauci as “taking a virus that could infect humans and making it either more transmissible and/or pathogenic for humans,” i.e., it consists of genetically boosting a virus by making it more transmissible. The aim of this practice is to study and analyze how the virus evolves and affects humanized guinea pigs.
One of the reasons why the laboratory escape theory gained traction was precisely because of the gain-of-function experiments conducted by the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Intelligence reports warned about the dangers of this experiment conducted at the WIV, a lab that does not have the necessary biosafety standards for this kind of research according to American officials in Beijing.
As early as April 2020, both The Washington Post and Fox News published articles about the experiments carried out at the WIV and that officials in the Trump administration believed that the virus could have emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan.
However, despite the evidence and scientific recommendations that Dr. Fauci received in his email about the plausibility that the coronavirus could have been man-made, the world’s leading immunologist chose to ignore the lab escape theory.
During April, specifically on the 18th, Peter Daszak, a zoologist and president of the EcoHealth Alliance – a nonprofit organization that won a $3.4 million grant from NIAID in 2014 – thanked Fauci for backing the natural origin theory of the coronavirus publicly.
“I just wanted to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Daszak wrote to Fauci who, by that time, already knew about the plausibility of an accidental escape.
“Many thanks for your kind note,” was Fauci’s reply to Daszak, a generic response with which he responded to many people throughout the past year.
The EcoHealth Alliance is more than just a medical organization; through it, the NIH funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology with $600,000 for them to research bat coronaviruses and their effects on humans. Dr. Fauci acknowledged this “modest” funding and further justified it. He also said that this money was not approved to be used for a gain of function, but asserted that he also cannot determine whether the Chinese researchers used this money for the controversial experiment behind the NIH’s back.
The emails also splash NIH Director Francis Collins, who commented that the taxpayer-funded grant to EcoHealth and WIV was not approved to conduct the gain-of-function. Collins himself referred to the lab leak theory as a “conspiracy” in an email to Anthony Fauci.
More damaging material
Dr. Fauci also gave somewhat contradictory recommendations in his mailings at the start of the pandemic.
In February, Sylvia Burwell, secretary of Health and Human Services from 2014 to 2017 under the Obama administration, queried Fauci about precautions she should take when traveling. The scientist responded, “Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection.”
“The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material… I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you are going to a very low risk location,” stressed the doctor.
Of course, Fauci’s opinion evolved to the point that, being fully vaccinated against the virus, the scientist appeared publicly wearing masks.
Other somewhat contradictory points made in the e-mails relate to school closures, which Fauci supported practically from the first day of the pandemic. However, the evidence showed that children always had lower infection rates and were less likely to be affected by the virus than adults.
One of the politicians who reacted to Dr. Fauci’s e-mails was Rand Paul, with whom the scientist has been fighting a fierce battle over how the government should have dealt with the pandemic from practically opposite sides.
The leaked e-mails did not take long to generate reactions against Anthony Fauci, who could be left out of the game due to the great public pressure. The main question, so far, and the one he will probably be questioned about in the Senate, is how much the scientist knew about the gain of function at the time and why he dismissed it or never mentioned it for such a long time.