During seven hours of questioning in a landmark lawsuit alleging the federal government colluded with social media companies to censor speech, Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed the communist Chinese government convinced him to press for the crippling COVID-19 lockdowns, according to attorneys and plaintiffs who were at the deposition Wednesday.
Fauci, who is retiring as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases after 38 years, also was unable to cite any study backing his sudden change of position on the effectiveness of masks in curbing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The court ordered that the deposition be sealed. However, California physician Aaron Kheriaty, who is one of the plaintiffs, reported via Twitter that Fauci confirmed NIAID deputy Cliff Lane convinced him to press for the lockdowns after returning in February 2020 from a trip to China with a World Health Organization delegation.
“Lane convinced Fauci we should emulate China’s lockdowns,” Kheriaty wrote.
The joint lawsuit was filed in May by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry. In October, a federal court granted the states’ request to depose Fauci and other top Biden administration officials, including former Biden press secretary Jen Psaki and the current White House spokeswoman, Karine Jean-Pierre.
It’s now well established, Kheriaty noted, that the Chinese Communist Party’s claim that it had contained the virus through draconian lockdowns was false.
“Lane and Fauci should have approached this claim with skepticism,” the physician said. “Lockdowns were wholly untested and unprecedented.
Kheriaty quoted his lawyer, Jenin Younes, saying Fauci “was apparently willing to base his lockdown advocacy on the observations of a single guy relying on reports from a dictator.”
Significantly, just days after Lane returned from China, WHO published a report praising China’s “uncompromising and rigorous use of non-pharmaceutical measures (lockdowns) to contain transmission of the COVID-19 virus in multiple settings provides vital lessons for the global response.”
“This rather unique and unprecedented public health response in China reversed the escalating cases,” the report claimed.
Implementation of lockdowns quickly spread from China to the West, with Italy, the United States and the United Kingdom leading the way until virtually the whole world was locked down.
But “the evidential basis for this global policy catastrophe,” Kheriaty pointed out, “was always paper-thin.”
A former adviser to the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has compiled a list of more than 150 studies and articles presenting data and evidence that universal masking is ineffective in stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and causes harm.
‘The last thing in the world I want’
The Louisiana AG, Landry, said Fauci repeatedly responded to questions by saying he could not recall.
“Wow! It was amazing to spend 7 hours with Dr. Fauci. The man who single-handedly wrecked the U.S. economy based upon ‘the science,'” he tweeted. “Only to discover that he can’t recall practically anything dealing with his Covid response!”
Kheriaty’s attorney, Younes, confirmed Fauci couldn’t name any mask studies to back his claim.
“Also, he made the court reporter wear a mask because she was sniffling, even though she said it was allergies,” the attorney said.
Fauci, according to Younes, said, “The last thing in the world I want is to get COVID.”
Schmitt, the Missouri AG, said in a statement Tuesday, ahead of the Fauci deposition, that since filing the lawsuit, “we have uncovered documents and discovery that show clear coordination between the Biden Administration and social media companies on censoring speech, but we’re not done yet.”
“We plan to get answers on behalf of the American people. Stay tuned.”
Landry said the public deserves “to know how involved Dr. Fauci was in the censorship of the American people during the COVID pandemic.”
“And I will continue fighting for the truth as it relates to Big Government colluding with Big Tech to stifle free speech.”
Under questioning by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., in a hearing in September, Meta’s chief product office, Chris Cox, essentially admitted the social media giant coordinated with the Biden administration to censor constitutionally protected speech.
See the exchange:
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) September 15, 2022
At the White House on Sept. 2, the press secretary Jean-Pierre was asked if the administration gave Twitter and Facebook talking points “over flagging what the president describes as misinformation.”
“So, I-I-I don’t have anything to – to share with you on that, and I’m not going to comment on – on that right at this time,” she replied
See Jean-Pierre’s reply: