Dr. Anthony Fauci misled authorities about the likelihood of COVID-19 escaping from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, and controlled the public narrative using media allies to label lab leak evidence as conspiracy theory. Prominent liberals have joined critics in decrying Fauci’s troubling lack of transparency.
Editor’s note: Following is an excerpt from Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s new book, “The Wuhan Cover-Up: And the Terrifying Bioweapons Arms Race.” The book, published Dec. 5, is available from Amazon and other booksellers.
For a full year into the pandemic lockdown, Dr. Anthony Fauci worked with fierce intensity to silence speculation regarding COVID-19’s laboratory genesis. He was aided in this goal by a clandestine global conspiracy involving Peter Daszak, Francis Collins, Jeremy Farrar, and the world’s most eminent virologists.
Their private correspondence from this period reveals that each of these prominent physicians and scientists personally believed that the lab leak origin was not only probable but highly likely. They nevertheless unleashed an arsenal of deception, misdirection, misinformation, bullying, censorship, gaslighting, and other abuses of power to persuade the world that the virus had evolved naturally. The only thing they didn’t offer was legitimate scientific evidence.
In April 2020, Dr. Fauci used an authoritative tone and scientific-sounding language to gull the sympathetic and credulous White House media scribes: “. . . the mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now is totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human.”
The apple-polishing DC press corps never required Dr. Fauci to explain how a spike protein carrying a furin cleavage site highly adapted for human infection — but no longer capable of infecting bats — could have possibly appeared on a bat-borne coronavirus without the benefit of evolving in intermediate species.
Nineteen months later, in November 2021, before a less pandering bipartisan Senate panel, Dr. Fauci minced the same sort of pseudoscientific gibberish, adding an appeal to authority: “Any of the card-carrying molecular virologists will tell you that, notwithstanding the debates about definitions, the funding by the NIH [National Institutes of Health] of the grants and the viruses that were worked on could not possibly have turned into SARS-CoV-2 because they are evolutionarily so distant that nothing anybody could have done could have done that.”
During the entirety of the ongoing two-and-a-half-year public health emergency, while he was acting as the president’s top COVID-19 advisor, Dr. Fauci made no effort to genuinely investigate COVID-19’s origins. He advanced only the most vacuous and anemic vagaries to support his pronouncement that COVID-19 emerged from a natural spillover. The only citations he ventured were similarly dodgy articles by authors on his payroll that he, himself, had secretly commissioned and — in some cases — edited.
Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci’s confident public assertions contrasted sharply with the much more cautious position taken by independent scientists, by other government officials, and by his loyal confederates in their private conversations with him. Dr. Fauci pulled off his chicanery with the complicity of political leaders in the White House and Congress under the thrall of partisanship, willful ignorance and/or cowardice.
Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs, a lifelong Democrat and the chair of the Lancet Commission that investigated COVID-19’s origins, recalled the dynamic: “The Democratic Party side media jumped to the defense of Fauci and said, ‘Look at these Republican conspiracy theorists.’ So this became politicized quickly inside the Congressional committees. Almost all the action has been on the Republican side.”
On May 11, 2021, Senator Rand Paul finally asked: “Dr. Fauci, do you still support NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?” Dr. Fauci angrily denounced the question: “Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely, entirely, and completely incorrect. That the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” He decried Senator Paul’s query as slander by “conspiracy-theory outlets and politically motivated organizations.”
Dr. Fauci was then under oath, so his blanket denial was a perjury of striking audacity: NIAID’s decade-long funding of gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan lab had left a public record abundantly and unambiguously documented on PubMed, the official NIH archives of the world’s peer-reviewed published research. The authors of myriad gain-of-function studies openly thank NIAID and NIH for funding their research at the Wuhan lab. Any journalist willing to do journalism — meaning, adopt skepticism toward Dr. Fauci’s penumbra of infallibility and perform unsanctioned research — could have ferreted out the citations in minutes.
The ease of finding these incontrovertible proofs of his deception makes Dr. Fauci’s lie seem reckless. But the savvy NIAID chief evidently calculated that the issue was now so politicized and the media so committed to fortifying official government orthodoxies that truth was irrelevant.
From the beginning of the crisis, the nation’s leading journalistic outlets abetted Dr. Fauci’s public deception by shielding him from difficult questions. In fact, the debate over COVID-19’s origins exposed a global pandemic of media malpractice. A fawning and scientifically illiterate press, addicted to Pharma advertising revenues since the advent of widespread direct-to-consumer advertising in the lay media in the late 1990s, corrupted by hundreds of millions in grants from the Gates Foundation, and a billion-dollar HHS media slush fund, cooperating secretly with the FBI and intelligence agencies, and blinded by tribal apoplexy against President Trump, never demanded that Dr. Fauci answer legitimate queries about his controversial GOF studies in Wuhan and elsewhere.
While the mainstream media kept mum, independent scientists and researchers from around the globe, political leaders, and alternative press outlets deluged NIH with published references documenting a decade of NIH-funded GOF experiments in Wuhan. Some even demanded that Dr. Fauci face perjury prosecution.
Two weeks after sparring with Senator Rand Paul, on May 25, amidst a blizzard of such denunciations, a haggard Dr. Fauci issued a grudging “clarification” acknowledging that NIAID had indeed funded “a modest collaboration with very respectable Chinese scientists who were world experts on coronavirus.” He was apparently describing Shi Zhengli, Lin-Fa Wang, Xing-Yi Ge, and Ben Hu — who, as we shall see — were, at that very moment, energetically collaborating behind the scenes with Dr. Fauci, Peter Daszak, and Ralph Baric to cover up the voluminous evidence that their research likely triggered the pandemic.
Over his five decades astride the public health technocracy, Dr. Fauci had made himself the Dark Master of the bureaucratic cover-up, including the art of never admitting fault. So when the NIAID boss returned to Capitol Hill to face an irate Rand Paul on July 20, 2021, he was unrepentant.
Rand Paul: Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11 where you claimed that the NIH never funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan?
Anthony Fauci: Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you are referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain-of-function. What was … Let me finish.
Rand Paul: You take an animal virus and you increase the transmissibility to humans — you’re saying that’s not gain-of-function?
Anthony Fauci: Yeah, that is correct. And Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly. And I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about.
Rand Paul: It’s straight from the NIH!
Anthony Fauci: You get one person —
Rand Paul: Let’s read from the NIH —
Anthony Fauci: Can I answer the question?
Rand Paul: . . . the definition of gain-of-function — this is your definition that you guys wrote — it says that “scientific research that increases the transmissibility among animals is gain-of-function.” They took animal viruses that only occur in animals, and they increased their transmissibility to humans. How you can say that is not gain-of-function?
Anthony Fauci: It is not.
Jeffrey Sachs, a liberal icon in his own right, would later find himself marveling at Dr. Fauci’s cynical dexterity at weaponizing partisan politics and bald-faced lies to escape accountability. As head of The Lancet Commission, Sachs ultimately concluded that it was Dr. Fauci’s reckless experiments that incited the pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, Dr. Sachs had collaborated extensively with Dr. Fauci in Africa’s HIV programs. He respected the NIAID leader and considered him his friend. But after investigating COVID’s origins, Sachs saw a darker side of Dr. Fauci that left him feeling like a naïf ingénue:
I’m a Democrat; I want to tell the Democratic side: ‘This isn’t conspiracy theory. This is in need of congressional oversight right now. Don’t make it a partisan thing. Just let’s have some transparency and honesty right now; work together to find out what’s going on. This is not a partisan issue. This is a public health issue. This is a scientific responsibility issue. This is an accountability issue.
On September 1, 2022, thirteen months after Dr. Fauci’s last bout with Senator Paul, the NIAID chief’s friend and longtime research colleague, Robert Redfield — the ex-CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Preventon] director — told former Senate investigator Paul Thacker that Dr. Fauci “misled Congress” when he denied funding the research, adding that “[n]othing’s going to happen as long as the Biden administration is there.”
Thacker reported Redfield’s damning finger-pointing in The DisInformation Chronicle: “Tony and I are friends, but we don’t agree on this at all.” Redfield recounted contacting Dr. Fauci in the “second or third week in January” of 2020 to protest that he was “very concerned [Fauci] was championing this theory that it came from animals.”
Redfield said that despite the clear science, Drs. Fauci and Collins created an atmosphere where “everyone had to agree to the narrative” that COVID had emerged from a “wet market” in Wuhan, not the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“There were particular elements of the coronavirus, such as what is known as a ‘cleavage site,’ which made it [obvious] that it was not from bats . . . This thing was manipulated, orchestrated,” Redfield said. “That cleavage site was created.”
In July 2023, Dr. Fauci’s longtime friend, colleague, co-collaborator, and his ostensible boss, assistant HHS secretary Dr. Robert Kadlec, who served as director of vaccine development for Operation Warp Speed, delivered an even more damning verdict in an interview with a leading Australian newspaper: “We think vaccine research resulted in the pandemic — that vaccine research was the proximate cause.”
The Defender on occasion posts content related to Children’s Health Defense’s nonprofit mission that features Mr. Kennedy’s views on the issues CHD and The Defender regularly cover. In keeping with Federal Election Commission rules, this content does not represent an endorsement of Mr. Kennedy, who is on leave from CHD and is running as an independent for president of the U.S.