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DUCKING FOIA: ‘Tony [Fauci] Doesn’t Want His Fingerprints On Origin Stories’

A new email reveals that a top advisor to Dr. Anthony Fauci used a private email account as a way to avoid those pesky Freedom of Information Act requests.

According to records obtained by the GOP-led Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic hunting for answers on the virus’s origin, Dr. David Morens, a high-ranking official at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and an advisor to Dr. Anthony Fauci, admitted that he used a personal Gmail address to evade FOIA.

Later, Morens said that he would have to resort to using his NIH account because his Gmail account was hacked, but assured his colleagues that he would delete any incriminating messages — or, in his words, “I will delete anything I don’t want to see in the New York Times.”

The Intercept, reports:

A top adviser to Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health admitted that he used a personal email account in an apparent effort to evade the strictures of the Freedom of Information Act, according to records obtained by congressional investigators probing the origin of Covid-19. The official also expressed his intention to delete emails in order to avoid media scrutiny.
“As you know, I try to always communicate on gmail because my NIH email is FOIA’d constantly,” wrote David M. Morens, a high-ranking NIH official, in a September 2021 email, one of a series of email exchanges that included many leading scientists involved in the bitter Covid origins debate. “Stuff sent to my gmail gets to my phone,” he added, “but not my NIH computer.”
After noting that his Gmail account had been hacked, however, he wrote to the group to say that he might have to use his NIH email account to communicate with them instead. “Don’t worry,” he wrote, “just send to any of my addresses, and I will delete anything I don’t want to see in the New York Times.”
Source: The Intercept

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The email was in a larger chain that blasted news outlets and scientists that posited that a leak from the lab in Wuhan was the likely origin of the virus.

“The lab leakers are already stirring up bullshit lines of attack that will bring more negative publicity our way — which is what this is about — a way to line up the [gain-of-function] attack on Fauci, or the ‘risky research’ attack on all of us,” wrote Daszak in one email on September 7.“Do not rule out suing these assholes for slander,” wrote Morens in response.
In a separate email, Morens slammed scientists such as Richard Ebright of Rutgers University, calling them “harmful demagogues.” He also lamented the media’s platforming of such figures.
“They need to be called out. Because I am in government I can only fo [sic] this off the record, but I have done do [sic] again and again,” he wrote. “Some of them are knowingly promoting false equivalences [sic]. If they interviewed a Holocaust survivor, they would say they have to give equal time and space to a Nazi murderer. They have no shame.”
Source: The Intercept

Another email highlighted by the Committee was one from July 2021 in which Morens states that Fauci requested that he give an interview about COVID origins to National Geographic which was a departure from the previous policy which was to not go on the record about origins.

“For many months, I have not been approved to talk about ‘origins’ on the record. But today, to my total surprise, my boss Tony actually ASKED me to speak to the National Geographic on the record about origins,” wrote Morens. “I interpret this to mean that our government is lightening up but that Tony doesn’t want his fingerprints on origin stories.” (Emphasis added)

Some of the individuals in the email exchange were outspoken proponents of the theory that COVID-19 originated in nature. These individuals included:

  • Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance
  • Robert Garry of Tulane University
  • Edward Holmes of the University of Sydney in Australia
  • Kristian Andersen of Scripps Research
  • Angela Rasmussen of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization in Canada

Bloomberg journalist, Jason Gale, was also included in the email exchanges.

Moren’s email instructing his colleagues to communicate through Gmail and not his NIH address directly contradicts a footer under his signature line which read, “IMPORTANT: For US-government related email, please also reply to my NIAID address.”

Scott Amey, general counsel for the nonpartisan organization Project on Government Oversight, said that the admission in the email may land Moren in a pile of trouble. He may have violated the Department of Health and Human Services’s email records management policy as well as civil and criminal record retention laws.

“His comments in that email are certainly worth an investigation by the agency, the agency inspector general, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the Department of Justice,” Amey said.

On Thursday, Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Chair of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, sent a letter to Dr. Morens regarding the documents.

Rep. Wenstrup wrote,  that emails obtained by the committee “suggest that you may have used your personal e-mail to avoid transparency and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), potentially intentionally deleted federal records, and acted in your official capacity to disparage your fellow scientists, including by encouraging litigation against them.”

“Further, your e-mails also raise concerns that you may have knowledge or information suggesting Dr. Anthony Fauci, former Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), wished to influence the COVID-19 origins narrative without his ‘fingerprints,'” stated the letter.

The letter requests more documents from Morens — including those from his personal email account — and to be interviewed by the Committee.

What is almost as newsworthy is that it was the Left-leaning news outlet, The Intercept, that published these revelations. The Intercept, if you recall, forced out its co-founder, Glenn Greenwald in 2020 for daring to write an article on the damning revelations that were on Hunter’s Laptop From Hell.

Independent journalist Michael Shellenberger has thoughts on the newly-released documents.

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Tobias, Jimmy. “Top NIH Official Advised COVID Scientists That He Uses Personal Email To Evade FOIA.” The Intercept. June 29, 2023.

K. Walker

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker