House Republicans sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, asking that he communicate any communications the social media giant has with dr. Anthony Fauci and other federal officials regarding the COVID-19 pandemic had to surrender.
Reps Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and James Comer (R-Ky.) Recently quoted emails from Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), suggesting that Zuckerberg personally ‘communicated with [Fauci] about the COVID-19 pandemic. ”
“In light of Facebook’s subsequent censorship of certain COVID-19 content – including content about the origins of the pandemic – this communication with Dr. Fauci raises the prospect that the federal government has encouraged Facebook to censor certain speech. contrary to the first amendment, “they wrote.
Over the past year amid the pandemic, Facebook went on to block content suggesting that the CCP virus, also known as the new coronavirus, may have originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Jordan and Comer’s letter further stated that Facebook was handing over “all documents and communications between or between Facebook employees and U.S. government employees”, including Fauci, about the virus, its treatment and its origin. Documents regarding Facebook’s policy on COVID-19 moderation of the content should also be handed over, the representatives write.
‘It also appears that you’re sharing some of Facebook’s confidential or trade secrets with Dr. Fauci shared as parts of your email exchange with Dr. Fauci was redirected when it was made public, ‘reads their letter.
Zuckerberg sent a personal message email to Fauci on March 15, 2020, in which the Facebook CEO wrote: ‘It is not yet public, but we are building a coronavirus information center that will place us at the top of Facebook so that everyone can see’ to ‘ensure that people have authoritative information ”and “Practice social distancing. In the e-mail, Fauci is also asked to do a question-and-answer session for Facebook, among other things.
Another email for mid-March 2020, titled “Offer from Mark Zuckerberg,” includes Fauci’s response after Zuckerberg asked him to “do videos” about the pandemic. Fauci responded by saying, “I will write or call Mark to tell him I’m interested.”
Fauci, who has given hundreds of newspaper interviews since the start of the pandemic last year, has received significant criticism in recent weeks from Republicans and former White House officials, who have said he gave misleading information – or lied. has – about the hypotheses. of the origin of the CCP virus.
Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance wrote in an email to Fauci on April 19, 2020: ‘I just want to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators for standing up for the public and declaring that the scientific evidence has a natural origin for COVID support. -19 of an overlap to human, not a laboratory release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. ‘
Daszak, a strong opponent of the theory that the virus escaped from the Wuhan laboratory, also told the NIAID chief: ‘Your remarks are brave and come from your familiar voice around the myths surrounding the virus’ origins. to be expelled. ‘
Fauci replied by writing, “Thank you very much for your kind letter.” According to the e-mail address published, Fauci had told George Gao, head of China’s CDC, the day before: ‘We will go through it together. Thank you for your kind letter. It’s all going well despite some crazy people in this world. ‘
In a series of media interviews this month, Fauci said the emails were “taken out of context” and defended grants worth hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“The Wuhan Laboratory is a very large laboratory, amounting to hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars – the grant we are talking about was $ 600,000 over five years,” Fauci told NewsNow last week.
But on June 9, during an MSNBC interview, Fauci went a step further after recent criticism from GOP lawmakers, who called on him to resign from the NIAID position he has held since 1984.
‘If you’re trying to push me as a public health official and scientist, you’ re not just falling for dr. ‘Anthony Fauci, but also attacks science,’ ‘he said.
Facebook and NIAID did not respond to requests for comment.