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Rep. Jackson Delivers Scorching Remarks During a Hearing with Dr. Fauci

WASHINGTON — Today, Representative Ronny Jackson (TX-13), a member of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, delivered the following remarks in a subcommittee hearing questioning Dr. Anthony Fauci's actions before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This hearing was the first time Dr. Fauci testified publicly since retiring from public service.

The video of Jackson’s remarks can be found here.

Rep. Jackson’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

Dr. Fauci, I have to say, I, as so many Americans, am deeply disappointed in your actions during a critical time in our nation’s history while you were in key leadership roles as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and as the Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden. 

Put quite simply, you failed miserably, in my opinion. Based on all we have learned during the pandemic, and all that we have since learned through this committee’s work, I believe your failures stem from both an effort of self-preservation, manifested by a series of lies and cover-up, and by a total failure of leadership. 

It was obvious to everyone that you, your organization, and the NIH, had a lot to lose if the American people were to discover that COVID-19 was most likely leaked from a lab in Wuhan China, and that you, via EcoHealth Alliance and Peter Daszak, actually funded this research, and that this lab was actively and recklessly conducting gain-of-function (GoF) research.

As such, you did everything in your power to deflect and cover up this possibility. You even recruited others to help you in this effort. 

Unfortunately, this cost our country and the world valuable time, time that may have led to answers regarding the origin, may have blunted the spread, and would have almost certainly saved lives.

While I think most of us have known all along what I just described, what I have been appalled to discover, through sworn testimony to this committee, is the level at which you and those that worked for you went to cover up the obvious. 

Just a few examples and I know these have been touched on, but they are important for everyone to hear:

Dr. Lawrence Tabak, former acting director of NIH, testified that under the generic definition that NIH did in fact fund GoF research. This was based on a definition that was initially used by NIH, AND a definition that was abandoned and removed from the website in October of 2021, AND replaced by a new, much more detailed definition, with a much higher bar, that you have since conveniently used to define GoF testing and to deny what Dr. Tabak has since confirmed. He also said that EcoHealth Alliance failed to properly and promptly report that their research violated the terms of the grant. Something that went completely unaddressed under your watch.

Dr. Morens, YOUR Senior Advisor, who you have tried today to distance yourself from, but whose large volume of emails clearly demonstrate that you had a very close and personal relationship with, and who reported to you directly, has openly bragged about how he subverted FOIA requests. I remind you that the law requires you and your former organization to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests. 

It is NOT optional. If you, or your employees, or your organization that you oversaw, were systemically avoiding transparency and illegally hiding or destroying documents that rightfully belong to the American people, then you should be criminally charged, and they should as well.

In addition, Dr. Gregory Folkers, your Chief of Staff, also engaged in illegal practices in which he crafted messages using symbols instead of letters to avoid FOIA exposure.

In an email, April 2020, from Dr. Morens to Peter Daszak, he says, “There are things I can’t say…” well I wonder what he could not say. He also went on to say, “except Tony is aware and I have learned there are ongoing efforts within NIH to steer through this with minimal damage to you, Peter, and colleagues, and to NIH and NIAID,” and then, a few days later, he said, “I have reason to believe that there are already efforts going on to protect you.”

In February of 2021, Dr. Morens wrote to Boston University scientist, Gerald Kersh, saying, “I learned from our FOIA lady here how to make emails disappear after I am FOIA’d, but before the search starts, so I think we are all safe.”

Dr. Fauci, I want to know what you were being protected from and what you needed to be safe from.

I’m going to go on because I have a little time here. He went on to say, “Plus I deleted most of those earlier emails after sending them to Gmail.”

Once again, illegal and an actual crime.

Dr. Morens noted in another email to Dr. Keusch saying, “I learned the tricks last year from an old friend, Marg Moore, who heads our FOIA office and also hates FOIAs.”

It is absolutely amazing to me that Dr. Morens and Ms. Marg Moore still have jobs, and taxpayers are still paying their salaries.

Dr. Morens wrote to Dr. Daszak in April 2021, “P.S. I forgot to say there is no worry about FOIAs.  I can either send stuff to Tony on his private email or hand it to him at work or at his house. He is too smart to let colleagues send him stuff that could cause trouble.” Apparently, you neglected to surround yourself with equally smart individuals. 

Dr. Morens wrote to another collaborator, Peter Hotez, in June 2021 at Baylor College of Medicine, that he had deleted all his emails related to COVID origin when “the shit hit the fan.” He said, “I feel pretty sure Tony’s were too. The best way to avoid FOIA hassles is to delete all emails when you learn a subject is pretty sensitive.”

In October 2021, Dr. Morens wrote in an email to Peter Daszak, “Peter from Tony’s numerous recent comments to me, and from what Francis has been vocal about over the past 5 days, they are trying to protect you, which also protects their own reputations as well.”

I’ll just jump ahead, the American people can rest assured that we are going to continue to pursue answers and we will continue to push for full accountability from you and your colleagues, despite continuing efforts to try and cover this up.

Dr. Fauci, history will not be kind to you, and you will be known as the man who put his personal interest before the interest of the American People. The very people that you were supposed to be protecting. Your actions, along with several others we have had before this committee, have completely eroded America’s trust in our public health system and in the agency that you represented for half a century. 

With that, I yield back.