Fauci says he handed over documents for Big Tech censorship lawsuit
Dr. Anthony Fauci said on September 14 that he and his staff had turned over all relevant documents to a lawsuit alleging the US government colluded with Big Tech to censor social media users.
“I have submitted and my staff have submitted all the documents that the Ministry of Justice has requested, and it is up to them to make them available, but I have not withheld anything that I have been asked to do. to provide,” Fauci told a news conference. a Senate hearing in Washington.
Attorneys general in Missouri and Louisiana filed suit in May, and the first installment of discovery provided evidence of collusion, including emails between federal officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the White House and officials from Facebook’s parent company Meta, Google and Twitter.
None of Fauci’s posts and a few implicating officials from the agency he heads, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, were missing from the post.
That’s because government lawyers have argued that most of Fauci’s communications should be protected. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, the person Trump appointed to oversee the case, disagreed.
“First, the requested information is obviously highly relevant to the plaintiffs’ claims. Dr. Fauci’s communications would be relevant to the plaintiffs’ claims in reference to the alleged suppression of speech relating to the laboratory leak theory of the origin of the COVID-19, and the alleged suppression of speech about mask effectiveness and COVID-19 lockdowns,” Doughty said.
The judge ordered the government on September 6 to produce the requested Fauci records from the plaintiffs within 21 days.
“Any communications that are made in this regard as far as I am concerned is an open book and available,” Fauci said during the Senate hearing.
The Justice Department and NIAID did not return requests for comment.
personal mobile phone
Fauci admitted to having been in contact with Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook.
Several emails between them sent in 2020 were released in 2021 via a Freedom of Information Act response.
Zuckerberg asked if he could provide resources to “potentially accelerate” COVID-19 vaccines, which were still in development at the time. Fauci thanked him and said, “I think everything will be fine.”
“There was a communication or two maybe with Mark Zuckerberg in which he emailed me and wanted to know if there was anything he could do,” Fauci said under questioning by Sen. Mike Braun ( R-Ind.) In July 2021. It wasn’t primarily spreading a public health message, it had nothing to do with the origins of the virus.
Braun asked if he checks social media companies frequently, and Fauci said no. Fauci also said he was “not sure” if he had Zuckerberg’s cellphone number.
The discovery produced so far shows that Zuckerberg provided the number to Fauci, according to a joint statement from plaintiffs and defendants filed in the lawsuit.
“And on August 28, 2022, Meta disclosed Dr. Fauci in its list of 32 federal officials who may have contacted Meta about modding content on Facebook and Instagram,” they said. Meta is the parent company of Facebook and Instagram.
“Don’t Get Involved”
In 2021, Fauci said he denied being involved in the Biden administration’s effort to pressure social media companies to remove posts containing alleged misinformation.
“I wasn’t even indirectly involved in that at all,” Fauci told Braun.
He later said the problem was beyond “my area of expertise”.
“I develop vaccines to save people’s lives. I don’t get involved in reporting things,” he said.
Braun asked Fauci during this week’s hearing if he discussed the origins of COVID-19 with employees of a social media company.
“No, to my knowledge there wasn’t,” Fauci said.
“I want to make sure I answer your question correctly. If the question is to influence [sic] social media in any way, the answer is emphatically no,” Fauci added.
A plaintiff in the case disagrees, citing the voluminous documents produced during the first discovery installment.
“Evidence already uncovered in the discovery in our case suggests that Dr. Fauci’s statement is grossly inaccurate, and that he knows it is inaccurate but is telling the United States Senate anyway,” he said. Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, chief of medical ethics at The Unity Project, told The Epoch Times via email.