Fauci, facing Congress for first time since retirement, distances himself from aide who used personal emails for business

Kentucky Health News

Dr. Anthony Fauci defended his actions during the Covid-19 pandemic before House lawmakers Monday and distanced himself from an aide accused of misconduct, Politico‘s Carmen Paun reports.

Fauci pushed back on claims by Republicans on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic that he tried to squelch the theory that the virus spilled over from a lab in Wuhan, China.

Fauci said that the theory isn’t a conspiracy theory, and that he has kept an open mind on the pandemic’s origins, but has endorsed a theory that the disease came from an animal.

He said the research his agency funded at the lab couldn’t have created Covid. The Department for Health and Human Services has stripped the EcoHealth Alliance, the U.S. research group that collaborated on virus studies with Wuhan, and its president of federal funding.

Fauci, 83, was director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases from 1984 to 2022, and chief medical adviser to President Biden from 2021 to 2022

Democrats and Republicans on the panel recently blasted longtime Fauci adviser David Morens, whom HHS put on leave for using personal email for official business. Emails the subcommittee released last month show Morens trying to shield correspondence.

In his first public Capitol Hill testimony since leaving the federal government, Fauci said Morens wasn’t part of his inner circle. “Despite his title, and even though he was helpful to me in writing scientific papers, Dr. Morens was not an adviser to me on institute policy or other substantive issues,” Fauci said.

Kentucky Health News is an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

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