Headline RoundupMay 23rd, 2024

Fauci Adviser Accused of Deleting Emails on COVID-19 Origins

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Congress questioned National Institutes of Health (NIH) official David Morens on Wednesday over his efforts to dodge inquiries about COVID-19's origins.

The Details: A memo from the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic accuses Morens of "undermining the operations of the U.S. government, unlawfully deleting federal COVID-19 records, using a personal email to avoid the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and repeatedly acting unbecoming of a federal employee." It cites emails in which Morens described the ability to "make emails disappear" and being "smart enough to know to never have smoking guns."

Key Quotes: “It is not anti-science to hold you accountable,” Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) told Morens on Wednesday. “I was not aware that anything I deleted like emails was a federal record,” Morens said.

For Context: Morens was a top adviser to Dr. Anthony Fauci at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. His emails also include discussions of cover-ups with Peter Daszak, president of the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, which was conducting coronavirus research at China's Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) when the pandemic began. In the past week, the U.S. halted funding to Daszak and EcoHealth Alliance, saying he failed to properly report on potential high-risk research. EcoHealth Alliance's coronavirus research at WIV is central to the COVID-19 lab leak theory.

How the Media Covered It: Sources across the spectrum framed Morens negatively. Right-rated outlets highlighted the news more prominently.

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