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Dr. Anthony Fauci brushed off an email warning of Chinese disinformation regarding the coronavirus pandemic, in an exchange from March 2020.
Erik Nilsen, the CEO of a Texas-based startup called Bio-Signal, sent an email to Fauci on March 18, 2020, writing that he suspected China had been covering up the amount of coronavirus deaths since early January. Nilsen added that his contacts in the country warned that the outbreak was not under control.
“Too long for me to read,” Fauci responded.
Smart guy tries to warn Fauci the virus has gotten out of control, China lying about numbers.
Fauci’s response? Tl;dr pic.twitter.com/LShpSJb74I
— Dr. Benjamin Braddock (@GraduatedBen) June 2, 2021
The emails are among thousands in Fauci’s correspondence obtained through a FOIA request by Buzzfeed. The collection reveals exchanges between Fauci and top U.S. government officials, journalists, and others during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I want you to know that I respect that and would never put you in a situation with my correspondence that would jeopardize you in anyway [sic],” ABC News reporter Kyra Phillips wrote to Fauci in one email.
In another message, a researcher tied to the Wuhan Institute of Virology thanked Fauci for publicly disavowing the theory that the coronavirus leaked from the WIV.
“From my perspective, your comments are brave, and coming from your trusted voice, will help dispel the myths being spun around the virus’s origins,” Peter Daszak, a zoologist and head of the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance, wrote to Fauci in April 2020. Daszak’s non-profit, whose mission includes the prevention of pandemics, funneled $3.4 million in U.S. grants to the WIV for the purpose of studying bat coronaviruses.
“Many thanks for your kind note,” Fauci responded.