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When the facts aren’t favorable, focus on the politics. It’s a time-worn tactic, on display in an Associated Press account of damning email communications of COVID czar Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In a 5 June 2021 AP article titled, “GOP sees opening to revive attacks on Fauci in email trove,” the wire service cast the bombshell revelations in emails of Fauci obtained via FOIA requests as political “overdrive.”
Do Americans who have seen their freedoms stripped, their jobs labeled unessential, and their small businesses destroyed have a legitimate reason for concern over the behind-the-scenes contradictions and lying that Fauci’s emails reveal?
If they do, the AP story didn’t focus on it. Instead, it targeted Republicans and “conservative news channels” positing the controversy as little more than political opportunism:
“On conservative news channels, Fauci—who now serves as President Joe Biden’s pandemic adviser—has been pilloried as a liar who misled the American people about the origins of COVID-19 to protect the Chinese government.
The moves by Republicans represent a new effort to find a reliable foil in the first few months of the Biden administration.”
The AP didn’t attempt an even-handed analysis of whether Fauci lied or was deceptive about:
- Connections between U.S. agencies and the Chinese Wuhan Institute of Virology;
- Efforts to determine whether that lab might have been the source of COVID 19;
- Connections of government agencies with controversial “chimeric” experimentation with viruses in the U.S. and abroad;
- The utility of “store” bought masks;
- The possible efficacy of cheap prophylactic COVID treatments such as hydroxychloroquine.
But the report did bring up Donald Trump to dismiss the current re-examination of the Wuhan lab origin possibility as a “conspiracy.” Overall, it portrayed Republicans as mostly jockeying for political advantage:
“‘Given what we know now, I don’t know how anyone can have confidence that he should remain in a position of public trust and authority,’ said Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, a potential presidential hopeful who is calling for Fauci’s resignation and a full congressional inquiry…
While Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., now the No. 3 Republican in the House, blasted out a fundraising email with the subject line ‘FIRE FAUCI.’”
Cherry-Picking Facts for Fauci
To the extent the story mentioned the emails themselves, it did so only to mount a defense of the embattled NIAID director. For example, it cited Kristian Andersen Anderson, a scientist who expressed concerns early on that the COVID-19 virus appeared to be engineered but then later reversed his position.
On the other hand, the AP failed to delineate Dr. Peter Daszak, tapped by Fauci to head a Lancet investigation of the Wuhan lab leak possibility. Daszik had direct ties to the lab’s funding, which constituted a significant conflict of interest. He can be seen lauding controversial gain-of-function research in a 2019 interview still available on YouTube.
Following his investigation, Daszak thanked Fauci in an email for publicly “standing up” for the natural origin claims for COVID. The AP only alludes to that email to bolster Fauci, without mentioning Daszak’s conflicts of interest. That kind of sleight-of-hand reportage allowed the wire service to conclude:
“The doctor’s newly released emails, which span the early days of the pandemic and were obtained by BuzzFeed News and The Washington Post, show no evidence of any kind of coverup about the origin of the virus.”
The AP story concludes by highlighting Fauci’s contributions to mRNA vaccine development, effectively couching him as a persecuted savior:
“‘A note to Fauci critics,’ tweeted Andy Slavitt, Biden’s outgoing senior COVID-19 adviser. ‘For years, he has been working tirelessly on the development of the mRNA vaccine in anticipation of a potential major viral outbreak. And on Jan 11, 2020, his team downloaded the gene sequence & on the 13th began work on the vaccine.’”
The wire service account is a fairly typical example of techniques used to spin, discount, and ignore politically inconvenient events and facts. But, by this point, Americans have seen numerous examples of hypocrisy and deception not only from Anthony Fauci but also from countless other public figures concerning COVID policies. They've seen elites get richer off the pandemic and flout their own restrictions, while the rest got poorer in unprecedented draconian lockdowns. And they've witnessed social and old-line media relentlessly suppress and distort information.
This time, the containment strategy may not work. COVID truths are breaking from the “official narrative” lab.