Fauci’s email-hiding accomplice says he’s ‘ashamed’ in tense testimony before Congress

A top advisor to former NIAID chief Dr. Anthony Fauci was full of excuses and apologies while testifying before Congress on Wednesday.

Appearing before the House Oversight Committee, NIH senior adviser Dr. David Morens was asked to account for disturbing emails between him and Dr. Peter Daszak, the president of EcoHealth Alliance.

In the emails, he’d brazenly spoken to Daszak about deleting his public emails and instead using a private email account to communicate so as to avoid answering Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

“As you know, I try to always communicate on gmail because my NIH email is FOIA’d constantly,” he wrote in one Sept. 2021 email. “Stuff sent to my gmail gets to my phone … but not my NIH computer.”

“It’s just something I’m very ashamed that I can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube,” he said of the emails Wednesday, adding that in the emails he’d been practicing “black humor,” according to Fox News.

In one of the emails, Morens wrote that he’d “learned from our FOIA lady here how to make emails disappear after I am FOIA’d, but before the search starts. So I think we are all safe. Plus I deleted most of those earlier emails after sending them to Gmail.”

Morens claimed this email “was a joke” when asked during the Wednesday hearing by Rep. Richard McCormick about what exactly he’d learned from the so-called “FOIA lady.”

“Are you sure about that? We can subpoena her email too,” McCormick pushed back. “You said she gave you advice… so you were lying then but telling us the truth now?”

“I wasn’t lying, I was making a joke. I said something like, ‘I have a way to make it go away.’ But that was just a euphemism,” Morens responded.

In another email, Morens wrote to Daszak, “We are all smart enough to know to never have smoking guns and if we did, we wouldn’t put them in emails. And if we found them, we would delete them.”

This particular email inspired committee chair James  Comer to ask Morens whether he’d “deleted any records” or had conversations with Fauci regarding deleting records.

“Not to my knowledge,” Morens replied. “But again, we’re at the issue of defining what’s a federal record? I deleted a lot of emails. I do it every day.”

At one point during Wednesday’s hearing, Morens said, “I don’t know what to say except I’m sorry.”

In another email, Morens informed the recipients that they need not worry about FOIA requests because he would “delete anything I don’t want to see in the New York Times.”

The most shocking email exchange occurred on May 28th, 2021, when the NIH’s Office of the General Counsel told the agency’s FOIA office to “not release anything having to do with EcoHealth Alliance/WIV,” with WIV standing for the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“[T]here is no worry about FOIAs. I can either send stuff to Tony on his private gmail [sic], or hand it to him at work or at his house,” Morens wrote in an April 21, 2021, email. “He is too smart to let colleagues send him stuff that could cause trouble.”

“We are all smart enough to know to never have smoking guns, and if we did we wouldn’t put them in emails and if we found them we’d delete them,” Morens added in a June 16th, 2020 email.

“If i [sic] had to bet, i [sic] would guess that beneath Tony’s macho I-am-not-worried reaction he really is concerned,” Morens wrote in an April 22nd, 2021 email about Fauci’s concerns.

Morens previously testified to the committee in January, during which time he denied ever deleting any emails.

“This claim raised serious concerns as it was partially inconsistent with emails previously released by the Select Subcommittee in which Dr. Morens stated ‘I always try to communicate over gmail because my NIH email is FOIA’d constantly’ and ‘I will delete anything I don’t want to see in the New York Times,’” according to the committee.

Vivek Saxena

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