You Cannot Believe One Word: Fauci Defends COVID Policies in Heated Showdown With Skeptical Lawmakers

269
‘You Cannot Believe One Word’: Fauci Defends COVID Policies in Heated Showdown With Skeptical Lawmakers
This article originally appeared on The Defender 

During a contentious hearing today before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci defended the “safe and effective” COVID-19 vaccines, but admitted science didn’t support mask mandates for children.

During a contentious hearing today before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus PandemicDr. Anthony Fauci defended the “safe and effective” COVID-19 vaccines, which he credited with saving millions of lives.

Fauci also largely defended the government’s pandemic policies and said vaccine mandates saved “many, many, many lives.”

He said the unvaccinated are “probably responsible for an additional 200,000-300,000 deaths” in the U.S. but conceded “that the first iteration of the vaccines did have an effect — not 100%, not a high effect.”

However, he admitted that clinical studies did not conclusively support mask mandates and that no such studies were performed on children, despite the imposition of school mask mandates.

When asked about how long lockdowns and mask mandates were enforced, he said it is “debatable” whether the duration of those measures was appropriate or excessive.

Fauci’s oral testimony today largely mirrored the written testimony he provided in advance of the hearing — and the transcript of his two-day closed-door interview in January with members of the House.

The subcommittee released the transcripts of the two-day interview on Friday.

In one heated moment today, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) suggested the subcommittee should issue a criminal referral against Fauci.

“We should be recommending you to be prosecuted for crimes against humanity,” she said, accusing Fauci of “muzzling” school-aged children as a result of mask mandates and also accusing him and his “cronies” of being funded by Big Pharma.

Fauci “does not deserve to have a license,” Greene said.

Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) and other Democrat lawmakers frequently apologized to Fauci for the attacks levied against him and thanked him for his service during his 38-year tenure as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers addressed revelations by Open The Books, published Sunday in The New York Post, that the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the parent agency of NIAID, received more than $710 million in royalties between 2022 and 2023, with NIAID receiving over $690 million of these payments.

Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and founder of OpenTheBooks.com, told The Defender “every royalty payment, tens of thousands of them, represent a potential conflict of interest,” noting that NIH will not disclose specifics about the payments.

Andrzejewski said:

“It makes some intuitive sense that NIAID and the National Cancer Institute are top royalty receivers historically. Those subagencies are responsible for vaccines and treatments for infectious diseases and sought-after cancer-fighting inventions, respectively.

“What is remarkable is the abrupt growth year over year, timed to the pandemic outbreak.”

During the hearing, Fauci denied benefiting financially from the royalties but could not explain which scientists received the money or for which purposes.

Fauci also denied that NIAID funded controversial gain-of-function research through EcoHealth Alliance at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China and that U.S. taxpayer money was used to genetically engineer SARS-CoV-2 — claims he also made during January’s interview.

Leaked messages released last year suggested Fauci was aware of the gain-of-function research and pressured key virologists to suppress research indicating that COVID-19 originated as a result of a lab leak while supporting research favoring a “zoonotic” — or natural origin — of the virus.

In his testimony today, Fauci denied those allegations.

During his opening remarks, Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), chair of the subcommittee, thanked Fauci for his years of service to science and public health but was critical of Fauci’s actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We should have been more precise,” Wenstrup said. “We should have used words and phrases that are accurate and not misleading. We should have been honest, especially about things we did not know.”

“Policy decisions should be made based on data, but some were not,” he added. As a result, Americans who questioned “oppressive mandates” were “bullied” while “any dissent … was immediately labeled ‘anti-science.’”

“Dr. Fauci, you oversaw one of the most invasive regimes of domestic policy the U.S. has ever seen,” Wenstrup said.

“Whether intentional or not, you became so powerful that any disagreements the public had with you were forbidden and censored on social and most legacy media time and time again. That is why so many Americans became so angry — because this was fundamentally un-American,” Wenstrup added.

During his closing remarks, Wenstrup suggested, “It’s important that we don’t do things like mandates.”

‘Fauci perjured himself’

Experts who spoke with The Defender questioned Fauci’s claims.

Rutgers University molecular biologist Richard Ebright, Ph.D., a frequent critic of gain-of-function research, told The Defender:

“Fauci perjured himself in three U.S. Senate hearings in 2021-2022, in which he denied — knowingly, willfully, and brazenly untruthfully — that NIH funded gain-of-function research and enhanced potential pandemic pathogens research in Wuhan.

“Fauci perjured himself again in his transcribed interview with the U.S. House Select Subcommittee, in which he lied about the coverage of the policies, lied about his violations of the policies, and lied about his perjury before the Senate.”

Francis Boyle, J.D., Ph.D., professor of international law at the University of Illinois, told The Defender, “Fauci has already lied and perjured himself before Congress. He should have been prosecuted already. You cannot believe one word he is saying.”

Boyle, a bioweapons expert who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, said Fauci “knew about the Chinese lab leak all along and covered it up right from the very get-go around September of 2019.”

Fauci “has lied about it ever since then and about everything related to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines in order to cover up his own criminality,” Boyle said.

Fauci: Social distancing rules ‘sort of just appeared’

The transcripts of Fauci’s House interview in January revealed admissions that many COVID-19 restrictions were not based on science.

Responding to a question about the 6-foot social distancing rule instituted in many public spaces, including schools, Fauci said “It sort of just appeared,” adding that he “was not aware of studies — that, in fact, that would be a very difficult study to do.”

Similarly, Fauci admitted “there are a lot of conflicting studies” regarding mask efficacy. When asked if he recalled reviewing any studies supporting masking for children in particular, Fauci said he “might have” but didn’t “recall specifically.”

Mark Crispin Miller, Ph.D., an author and professor of media studies at New York University whose research and teaching focus on propaganda and who came under fire in 2020 for asking his students to review both sides of the mask debate, told The Defender:

“Once upon a time — before early 2020 — Dr. Fauci told the truth about the uselessness of masking as a barrier to respiratory viruses and told it publicly on “60 Minutes,” only to reverse himself days later and for the first few years of the ‘pandemic.’

“And now, after several years of flogging that ‘Big Lie,’ he’s contradicting it again, or half-contradicting it, with near-admissions that ‘the science’ does not back the use of masks against ‘the virus.’”

Fauci adamantly defended vaccine mandates during today’s hearing. However, he admitted in his January testimony that the mandates may have increased vaccine hesitancy. He said:

“I think one of the things that we really need to do after the fact, now, to — you know, after-the-game, after-the-event evaluation of things that need to be done, we really need to take a look at the psyche of the country, have maybe some social-type studies to figure out, does the mandating of vaccines in the way the country’s mental framework is right now, does that actually cause more people to not want to get vaccinated, or not? I don’t know. But I think that’s something we need to know.”

Fauci also acknowledged that the lab-leak theory of COVID-19’s origins is not a conspiracy theory, a statement he repeated during today’s interview.

“I have always kept an open mind to the different possibilities,” Fauci said today.

The New York Times featured a guest essay today by Alina Chan, Ph.D., a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of M.I.T. and Harvard, and a co-author of “Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19,” stating that “a laboratory accident is the most parsimonious explanation of how the pandemic began.”

Both during the January interview and today’s testimony, Fauci adamantly denied that NIAID funded gain-of-function research or studies that manipulated viruses to make them more infectious in humans, perhaps leading to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In today’s testimony, Fauci also distanced himself from former aide David Morens, who allegedly boasted in emails about his ability to evade public records requests and his intention to delete any potential “smoking guns” for potential Freedom of Information Act requests.

“That was wrong and inappropriate and violated policy … he should not have done that,” Fauci said, denying knowledge of Morens’ alleged actions.

Miller said “the only thing we know for sure” about Fauci’s claims “is that we can’t believe a word of them, and that we heeded them at our enormous peril.”

Donate to Children’s Health Defense