Dr. Anthony Fauci — the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden — testified under oath last week over his alleged role in colluding with Big Tech companies to squash Covid-related posts the administration labeled as “misinformation.” The testimony came as part of an investigation into the matter that was launched by Missouri and Louisiana Attorneys General Eric Schmitt and Jeff Landry earlier this year.
While a transcript of the Nov. 23 deposition has yet to be released to the public, Schmitt and Landry have since hinted at some of the big “takeaways” from their interview with Fauci on social media. In a tweet posted on Wednesday evening after the deposition, Schmitt claimed that Fauci “knew the [Covid] Lab Leak theory had merit but it’d come back to him & sought to immediately discredit it.”
Fauci also “defended lockdowns” and expressed sentiments that “[t]he rest of us ‘don’t have the ability’ to determine what’s best for ourselves,” Schmitt asserted.
The Missouri AG later posted another “tidbit” from Fauci’s deposition a few days later, saying that the infectious disease doctor abruptly switched his position on the efficacy of facemasks in preventing viral transmission of Covid in the early months of the pandemic without giving any scientific justification. Emails released last year between Fauci and a former federal official appear to confirm such an assertion.
“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.’ Only to discover that he can’t recall practically anything dealing with his Covid response!” Landry said in a separate post.
Originally filed in May, the lawsuit brought by Schmitt and Landry seeks to undercover alleged collusion between the federal government and Big Tech that resulted in the censorship of Covid-related information that did not comport with the views of the Biden administration. As part of their inquiry, the Missouri and Louisiana AGs asked a federal judge last month to grant them the power to depose Fauci, as well as other high-ranking administration officials, including former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, under oath.
In their arguments, Schmitt and Landry claimed that Fauci was “directly involved with multiple social media censorship campaigns against COVID-19 misinformation,” including Twitter’s suspension of independent journalist Alex Berenson. The two AGs also asserted that Fauci’s credibility as a public health official should be called into question, citing his numerous lies since the pandemic’s outset as proof. The judge ultimately agreed with Schmitt and Landry’s assessments and approved their deposition requests.
While the extent of Fauci’s coordination with Big Tech firms remains unclear, communication records released by BuzzFeed News last year show Fauci engaging with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on a Facebook Covid “information hub” during the early months of the outbreak. In an email dated March 15, 2020, Zuckerberg asked the infectious disease doctor if he would be willing to record a video for the hub, to which Fauci replied that he “would be happy” to do so.
“Your idea and proposal sound terrific,” Fauci said. “We need to reach as many people as possible and convince them to take mitigation strategies seriously or things will get much, much worse.”