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Fauci develops selective amnesia during COVID testimony; admits social distancing wasn't scientific
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Fauci develops selective amnesia during COVID testimony; admits social distancing wasn't scientific

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus grilled Anthony Fauci for 14 hours over two days this week as part of a closed-door deep dive into the origins of COVID-19, the rollout of novel vaccines, and controversial pandemic protocols.

The former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases claimed over 100 times just in the first day of questioning that he could "not recall" possibly damning information. Nevertheless, what Fauci ultimately willed himself to remember or admit was revelatory.

"Dr. Fauci's transcribed interview revealed systemic failures in our public health system and shed light on serious procedural concerns with our public health authority," wrote Committee Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio). "It is clear that dissenting opinions were often not considered or suppressed completely. Should a future pandemic arise, America's response must be guided by scientific facts and conclusive data."

Social distancing was a crock

Wenstrup noted after the second day of interviews that Fauci, who once cast himself as the physical incarnation of science, admitted that social distancing recommendations "forced on Americans 'sort of just appeared' and were likely not based on scientific data."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stressed in 2020 the need for adults and school children to "remain at least 6 feet apart," suggesting that a failure to space students far apart presented the "highest risk."

The CDC further recommended the use of face masks when the physical distance of six or more feet could not be maintained, confidently claiming that in its guidance that "maintaining physical distance (≥6 feet) lowers the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection through exposure to infectious respiratory droplets and aerosols and is important, even if no symptoms are apparent.

The CDC did not relax its guidelines until summer 2022.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, one of former President Donald Trump's commissioners of the Food and Drug Administration, suggested as much in 2021, telling CBS News' "Face the Nation" that the six-foot social distancing rule was "arbitrary" — a compromise between the CDC, which initially sought a recommendation of 10 feet, and an unnamed appointee in the Trump administration who suggested 10 feet was "inoperable."

Gottlieb underscored that this arbitrary rule was "probably the single costliest recommendation that [the] CDC made," reported Forbes.

Not a conspiracy theory

Wenstrup indicated that Fauci admitted this week the lab-leak theory "was, in fact, not a conspiracy theory."

Previously, Fauci all but led the campaign to discredit the likely scenario that the unhygienic Chinese communist-run lab at the center of the pandemic — where patients zero conducted gain-of-function experiments on coronaviruses — was indeed the origin of the virus.

Cognizant of top immunologists' concerns that COVID-19 was created in a lab his agency helped fund, Fauci commissioned, edited, and gave final approval to a 2020 paper suggesting the virus had a zoonotic origin.

Fauci failed to note his involvement with the impactful March 2020 study published the journal Nature, "The Proximal Origins of SARS-CoV-2," when later citing it on the national stage to shore up his claim that it was unlikely the virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology ⁠— thereby buttressing the Chinese Communist Party's denials.

Last year, the subcommittee identified two possible motives behind the apparent efforts by Fauci and his allies to downplay the lab-leak theory and vilify its proponents: The virologists either wanted to "defend China and play diplomat" or "lessen the likelihood of increased biosafety and laboratory regulations."

A third possibility may have been to displace blame. After all, federal documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit revealed in 2023 that the NIAID, under former director Fauci, funded dangerous experiments on coronaviruses at the WIV in China's Hubei province.

In his testimony this week, the subcommittee suggested that Fauci "played semantics with the definition of a 'lab leak' in an attempt to cover up the inaccurate conclusions of 'Proximal Origin.' It is impossible for him to defend 'Proximal Origin' as definitive while simultaneously acknowledging that a lab leak is possible."

Additional admissions and denials

Fauci revealed not only that he failed to correct state-circulated junk science and advanced at least one erroneous presumption on his own but also that he:

  • agreed with Trump's controversial order to restrict travel from China and other nations at the outset of the pandemic;
  • advised imposing vaccine mandates on college students;
  • did not bother to review proposals when signing off on every foreign and domestic NIAID grant; and
  • could not confirm whether his former agency had any mechanisms to conduct oversight of the foreign labs it bankrolls.

Wenstrup (R-Ohio) indicated further that the geriatric scientist was also willing to admit that the policies and mandates he championed "may unfortunately increase vaccine hesitancy for years to come."

While making some telling admissions, the former bureaucrat doubled down on his past claim that the National Institutes of Health did not fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan.

Fauci also denied the allegations that he visited the CIA during the pandemic or influenced the agency's investigation into the origins of the virus. The subcommittee claimed in September that "Fauci was escorted into Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Headquarters — without a record of entry — and participated in the analysis to 'influence' the Agency’s review."

The committee will hear further testimony from Fauci later this year.

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News. He lives in a small town with his wife and son, moonlighting as an author of science fiction.
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