When the COVID-19 pandemic initially began, Americans were repeatedly informed by the legacy media that the virus had undoubtedly emerged naturally, with the leading theory being that it emerged from a Wuhan wet market. However, many Americans have grown skeptical of such claims as information about the Wuhan Institute of Virology — and particularly their study of coronaviruses originating in bats — came to light.
New information from Nicholas Wade, a former New York Times reporter, claims National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci personally signed off on funding for gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab, which could have potentially sparked the start of the COVID pandemic. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), which oversees NIAID, gain-of-function research is used for virology experiments aimed at medical advancements, like “higher yields for vaccine strains.”
Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog organization, has repeatedly sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in order to obtain internal documents relating to the virus’ origins and for communications between U.S. health officials and the World Health Organization (WHO). The watchdog group has also sued to obtain communications, contracts, and agreements with the Wuhan lab. The problem, according to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, is that Dr. Fauci himself is stonewalling public transparency.
“In our other requests for documents, the early communications with Wuhan, with China, about the WHO, about coronavirus, we were told one of the reasons it was going to take longer than we’d like is because Fauci has to personally review the documents,” Fitton explained to The Daily Wire. “It’s exceedingly unusual.”
The concern, according to Fitton, is that Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are being ignored in an unprecedented way.
“I don’t recall anything like that ever before and I’ve been doing this for nearly two dozen years,” he said.
According to Fitton, accountability for Dr. Fauci would require that such documents are made public, thereby allowing Americans to learn how deep the “scandal” runs.
“The question is: was this an area of research that could have resulted in the virus being released accidentally and was this research tied to it?” Fitton asked. “Those are big questions and Fauci, to his credit, has said the question is worth pursuing. The problem is the kind of disconnect, pretending that our government wasn’t funding this type of research, potentially. And those with a more direct financial interest and involvement in this type of research have been front and center saying ‘China isn’t involved.’ We can’t even ask the question.”
Another set of documents Judicial Watch obtained appear to indicate that Dr. Fauci signed off on a joint press release with the WHO, praising China for their early pandemic response.
“We have the documents showing praise for China was an emphasis of the early response and Fauci approved that. We have documents showing that the information about the issue was controlled by China because there was a document showing that the confidentiality agreement had China’s terms in it,” he said. “It’s an ugly scandal.”
The new revelations are calling into question Dr. Fauci’s early decisions, like his opposition to halting flights from China. A little more than a year later, he praised those decisions for “preventing a lot of people who are infected, particularly from Wuhan, from coming into the country.”
“It raises questions about why that was objected too,” Fitton said.
“I think Dr. Fauci, early on, there was this presumption he was a world-renowned expert and there’s a lot of goodwill he had. The longer this pandemic has gone on and the more nonsensical the shutdowns and the advice, which has been more political health advice than public health advice, because public health is really about politics, that goodwill dissipated.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Fauci was touted as a world-renowned virology expert who was perfectly positioned to help the United States deal with COVID-19. But, according to Fitton, the NIAID head deserves the same level of scrutiny as any other bureaucrat in government.
“There’s no reason Dr. Fauci should be given any more deference as a bureaucrat than any other government official. The skepticism that we bring to the functions of the FBI, the CIA, and other government agencies should also be brought to what public health officials have been doing,” Fitton told The Daily Wire. “I mean, we’ve seen the CDC has been politicized. We see Dr. Fauci as a political actor as much as a bureaucrat and, more importantly, he works for the people, and we should be holding him accountable, especially given the awesome power that politicians have given him in deference to his views.”
Beth Baumann is a Political Reporter and Editor at The Daily Wire. Follow her on Twitter @eb454.