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Fri Sep 16 18:22:58 PDT 2022
Fauci Says He’s Handed Over Documents for Big Tech Censorship Lawsuit
By Zachary Stieber
September 14, 2022 Updated: September 14, 2022
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sept. 14 that he and his staff members have
handed over all responsive documents to a lawsuit alleging the U.S.
government colluded with Big Tech to censor social media users.
“I have handed and my staff have handed over every document that the
Department of Justice has asked for, and it’s up to them to make it
available, but I have held nothing back from anything that I was asked
to provide,” Fauci said during a Senate hearing in Washington.
The attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana filed the suit in May,
and the first tranche of discovery returned evidence of collusion,
including emails between the federal officials at the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention and the White House and officials at
Facebook parent company Meta, Google, and Twitter.
Absent from the release were any messages from Fauci and just a few
involving officials at the agency he directs, the National Institute
of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
That’s because government lawyers asserted most of Fauci’s
communications should be shielded. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty,
the Trump appointee overseeing the case, disagreed.
“First, the requested information is obviously very relevant to
Plaintiffs’ claims. Dr. Fauci’s communications would be relevant to
Plaintiffs’ allegations in reference to alleged suppression of speech
relating to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19’s origin, and to alleged
suppression of speech about the efficiency of masks and COVID-19
lockdowns,” Doughty said.
The judge ordered the government on Sept. 6 to produce the requested
Fauci records to plaintiffs within 21 days.
“Any communications that are made in that regard as far as I’m
concerned are an open book and available,” Fauci said during the
The Department of Justice and NIAID did not return requests for comment.
Personal Cell Phone
Fauci has acknowledged that he was in contact with Mark Zuckerberg,
the CEO of Facebook.
Several emails between them sent in 2020 were released in 2021 through
a Freedom of Information Act response.
Zuckerberg asked whether he could provide resources to “potentially
accelerate” the COVID-19 vaccines, which were still in development at
that time. Fauci thanked him and said that “I believe we will be OK.”
“There was one communication or two perhaps 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 was mostly propagating a public health message, it had
nothing to do with the origins of the virus at all.”
Braun asked if Fauci consults with social media companies frequently,
and Fauci said no. Fauci also said he was “not sure” whether he had
Zuckerberg’s cell phone number.
The discovery produced so far in the lawsuit shows that Zuckerberg
provided Fauci with the number, according to a joint statement by
plaintiffs and defendants.
“And on August 28, 2022, Meta disclosed Dr. Fauci in its list of 32
federal officials who may have communicated with Meta about content
modulation on Facebook and Instagram,” they said. Meta is the parent
company of Facebook and Instagram.
mark zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg speaks in New York City on Oct. 25,
2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
‘Don’t Get Involved’
In 2021, Fauci denied being involved in the Biden administration’s
efforts to pressure social media companies to take down posts
containing alleged misinformation.
“I have not at all been involved, even indirectly, in that,” Fauci told Braun.
He later said that the issue was “beyond my area of expertise.”
“I develop vaccines to save people’s lives. I don’t get involved in
flagging things,” he said.
Braun asked Fauci in this week’s hearing whether there were any
discussions with any social media company employees about the origins
“No, to my knowledge there was not,” Fauci said.
“I want to make sure I get correct your question. If the question is
do we influencing [sic] social media in any way, the answer is
categorically no,” Fauci added.
A plaintiff in the case disagreed, citing the voluminous documents
produced in the first tranche of discovery.
“The evidence already uncovered on discovery in our case suggests that
Dr. Fauci’s statement is grossly inaccurate, and that he knows it to
be inaccurate but is saying it regardless to the United States
Senate,” Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, chief of medical ethics at The Unity
Project, told The Epoch Times via email.
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