Fauci Addresses COVID-19 Origins Before House Oversight Committee, Says Family Faced Harassment

Zinger Key Points
  • The House committee revealed emails suggesting that top NIH officials attempted to evade Freedom of Information Act requests.
  • The emails indicated that some officials may have used private emails to discuss government matters.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former top U.S. infectious disease expert, denied accusations of suppressing the theory that COVID-19 originated from a lab leak in China.

Testifying before the House Oversight and Accountability Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, Fauci said that he never influenced research on the virus’s origins and reiterated his belief that animal-to-human transmission is the most likely cause of the pandemic.

Reuters noted that Fauci’s testimony was his first public response since a 14-hour closed-door hearing in January.

Fauci, who retired in December 2022 after a 54-year tenure at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, including 38 years as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), was questioned by lawmakers.

The House committee, established to investigate the origins of COVID-19, revealed emails suggesting that top NIH officials attempted to evade Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Reuters reports.

The emails indicated that some officials, including Fauci’s long-time adviser David Morens, may have used private emails to discuss government matters, potentially avoiding public records laws.

Fauci told lawmakers he was uncertain if Morens directly reported to him and noted that their offices were in different buildings. He also denied ever using a private email address for government business.

However, Morens acknowledged in his testimony that he might have sent emails about government business to Fauci’s personal email, according to Reuters.

Fauci said that Morens had repeatedly violated NIAID policy regarding email use but denied any attempts to circumvent FOIA requests.

Fauci also highlighted the severe harassment and death threats he and his family have endured, attributing these to vilification by some Republican lawmakers over his pandemic response and advocacy for COVID-19 vaccines.

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Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Courtesy NIAID On Wikimedia Commons

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