Dr. David Morens, a top adviser to Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has come under scrutiny for his use of personal email accounts to avoid Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and discussions regarding the origins of COVID-19. House lawmakers investigating the pandemic’s origin have obtained records showing that Morens admitted to using his personal email account and deleting certain emails during the pandemic. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic claims that Morens may have violated the law.
Emails and Transparency Concerns
Email exchanges between Morens and a Bloomberg reporter revealed his need for approval from the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services to discuss the origins of COVID-19. Morens mentioned that he was not permitted to talk about the origins “on the record” for many months. In other emails, Morens expressed concerns about his work email being subject to FOIA requests and indicated that he preferred using his personal email account to communicate. He assured recipients that he would delete anything he did not want to see in the media.
Disparaging Fellow Scientists and FOIA Evasion
The obtained emails also showed Morens engaging in discussions about negative publicity and potential lawsuits against critics. He responded to an email from EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak, suggesting legal action against individuals raising concerns about gain-of-function research. Morens’ use of personal email to avoid transparency and FOIA requests, potential deletion of federal records, and disparaging remarks about fellow scientists have raised concerns among lawmakers.
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Congressional Response and Further Investigation
Rep. Brad Wenstrup, the chair of the House Select Subcommittee, sent a letter to Morens expressing concerns about the obtained documents. The letter raised questions about Morens’ intentional use of personal email to avoid transparency, potential deletion of federal records, and his role in shaping the COVID-19 origins narrative without leaving a trace. The committee has requested additional records from Morens, including those from his personal device, and has requested an interview with him.
The use of personal email by Dr. David Morens, a high-ranking adviser to Dr. Anthony Fauci, to discuss COVID-19 origins and evade transparency has raised concerns about accountability and the integrity of the investigative process. As lawmakers investigate the origins of the pandemic, it is essential to ensure that discussions and actions surrounding such critical matters are conducted with transparency and adherence to legal requirements. The ongoing inquiry into Morens’ email practices underscores the need for openness and accountability in understanding the origins of COVID-19.