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Dr. Anthony S. Fauci must be one of the luckiest people in the world, with Dr. Francis S. Collins not far behind. President Biden’s chief medical advisor and the recently retired head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have been leading charmed lives because evidence keeps emerging of their incredibly shady and quite possibly corrupt and illegal behavior in dealing with the China angle of the CCP Virus pandemic, and so far they’re getting off scot free.

As known by RealityChek readers, overwhelming evidence exists that Fauci, longtime head of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) lied to Congress when he denied under oath that his agency funded gain-of-function research at a Chinese virology lab in violation of federal government guidelines at the time. Such deceitful statements are criminal offenses and Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul has rightly asked the Justice Department for a criminal investigation. But how anxious do you think this Biden administration cabinet agency will be to look into someone whom the President himself has repeatedly touted as the world’s greatest expert on handling the pandemic?

This Fauci decision on gain-of-function funding, by the way (as opposed to misleading Congress about it) should be enough to put him in serious legal jeopardy. And ditto for Collins if he knew about Fauci’s action.

In the last month, however, recently released emails suggest two more major reasons for investigating Fauci and Collins.

The first concerns statements by both in their correspondence during 2020 and 2021 that they not only tried to suppress public discussion and consideration of Chinese responsibility for loosing the virus on the world – which has been clear enough from the numerous times they described as “fringe” and “conspiracy” thinking positions arguments made in support of the lab leak theory made by numerous eminent virologists and epidemiologists.

Now, thanks to a new group of emails – released by Republican members of the House Oversight and Reform Committtee – we know that the agencies for which Fauci and Collins have worked are trying to cover up the reasons that scientists tasked by the former during the pandemic’s early U.S. stages to examine the virus’ origins switched from viewing as solid and even convincing both main versions of the lab leak theory (that a naturally occuring coronavirus escaped due to Chinese carelessness, and that the pathogen that leaked was man-made) to staunch opponents of these ideas.

If such a cover up wasn’t taking place, why were virtually all the contents of the communications that could have shed light on the specific reason for this dramatic change redacted? Like scientific and medical information should suddenly be treated as a state secret?

Second, these emails also speak volumes about the motives of Fauci and Collins. Their sole aims, the wording strongly suggests, weren’t to make sure that pseudo-science didn’t distract and inhibit the nation’s response to the pandemic. Instead, they were also concerned with maintaining “international harmony” (as Collins put it in a February 2, 2020 message) and not doing “unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular” (according to one of the experts involved in the electronic discussions on the same day).

There’s nothing wrong with scientists worrying about the state of science worldwide and about dangers to the international cooperation that drives so much scientific progress. But there’s everything wrong (although it’s probably not a crime) for such scientists, and especially government scientists who have been appointed and not elected to their jobs, trying to stamp out any discussions – both inside and outside the government – involving an entirely possible danger to public health in order to advance the above aims, or for any non-scientific reason. In the American system of government, that call – which involves major and complicated scientific and non-scientific tradeoffs – must be made by elected officials. The appointed technocrats should be providing input reflecting their paticular expertise, and nothing more.

Third, two conservative-leaning news organizations (see here and especially here) have obtained NIH documents showing that some of the scientists who changed their minds and indeed began leading the charge to debunk the lab leak theories got big increases in grant funding from Fauci’s NIAID (and by extension, Collins’ NIH). In other words, these experts could well have done these government scientists’ bidding in exchange for a payoff.

None of this new material is enough to declare anyone guilty of anything. But it’s full of information demanding a far-ranging probe. During the Watergate era, Congress rightly sought to determine whether there was a “cancer on the Presidency.”  Especially as an era of pandemics may well be starting, the possibility of a cancer on the public health establishment should be equally alarming.