Dr. Anthony Fauci sat last week for a seven-hour deposition taken by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana as part of a lawsuit the two states filed over claims of federal and corporate censorship.
The lawsuit alleges that various government officials from multiple government agencies leaned on social media companies to enforce Beijing-style censorship on social media, limiting debate over COVID-19 policies and science.
While billed as an effort to restrict the flow of “misinformation,” the effort wound up blocking the spread of accurate and true news reporting on COVID-19 and pandemic policies.
Although a judge ordered Fauci’s deposition sealed, bits of information have leaked out that confirm he conspired with social media platforms Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to control the spread of information. Most of what we know about the deposition comes from tweets posted by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney Jeff Landry.
Fauci adopted the well-worn strategy of professing ignorance in the face of tough questions. Landry tweeted that Fauci “can’t recall practically anything dealing with his Covid response!”
Schmitt said Friday that Fauci, a well-known proponent of masking, emailed a personal friend in February of 2020 to tell her that masking was not effective.
Schmitt also said that Fauci, while publicly denouncing the theory that COVID-19 originated in a virology lab in Wuhan, was privately admitting that the lab-leak theory was entirely possible.
Schmitt alleges that Fauci downplayed the lab-leak theory in order to protect himself from being connected to the outbreak over his decision to fund gain-of-function research at the WIV. As director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Fauci provided funding to the EcoHealth Alliance and its director Dr. Peter Daszak. EcoHealth subsequently provided some of that grant money to WIV to study coronaviruses in bats.
A comprehensive Pro Publica investigation published last month concluded that the most likely origin of the outbreak was in fact the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). However, thanks to coordination between federal officials and social media companies, making that claim one year ago would have gotten videos removed from YouTube or posts censored on Facebook and Twitter.
The deposition also revealed that Fauci dispatched NAIAD employee Clifford Lane to Wuhan in February of 2020 to investigate how China was handling the outbreak. Upon return, Lane convinced Fauci that China’s severe lockdowns were working. Although this wasn’t accurate, it informed Fauci’s own advocacy for strict lockdowns.
Schmitt also said Fauci at one point demanded that a court reporter who had sneezed don a mask.
Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who is now an MSNBC show host, will be deposed on Dec. 8.