Twitter CEO Elon Musk wrote this weekend that he would release more “Twitter files” about the previous management’s communications with federal health officials regarding how to deal with claims about COVID-19 rules and vaccines in the coming days.
While offering little in terms of details, Musk responded to a question from a user, who asked him: “When will we get the twitter files on covid? The info on the suspension of the many doctors and scientists? Who was involved? Suppression of what has turned out to be factual information.”
Musk previously signaled support for the COVID-19 vaccine, including a Twitter post from April 2021. However, overall, Musk has made few public comments about vaccines or his own vaccination status.
“To be clear, I do support vaccines in general and covid vaccines specifically. The science is unequivocal. In very rare cases, there is an allergic reaction, but this is easily addressed with an EpiPen,” Musk wrote at the time.
Several weeks ago, Twitter indicated that it no longer enforces its policy against so-called COVID-19 misinformation after users noticed a one-sentence update had been made to Twitter’s online rules. “Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy,” it said.
Fauci is slated to step down from his federal positions in December. Some congressional Republicans have indicated that they will call Fauci, who has headed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, in for questioning about the origins of the virus and COVID-19 rule enforcement at the domestic level.
“If there are oversight hearings I absolutely will cooperate fully and testify before the Congress,” Fauci told reporters during what may have been his final White House briefing last month. “I have no trouble testifying—we can defend and explain everything that we’ve said.”
During a deposition released this month, Fauci said that he never called for censorship. “No, I have not,” Fauci said when asked whether he’d asked a social media company to remove misinformation. He also said that, to his knowledge, none of his staffers had.
Twitter ‘Files’Musk’s comments on Sunday come after his release of the latest installment of the “Twitter files” on Saturday, reportedly showing how previous Twitter officials created reasons to suspend former President Donald Trump’s account in January 2021. It also showed how senior Twitter staffers allegedly censored posts made by Trump ahead of the 2020 presidential election while regularly engaging with federal law enforcement agencies.
Earlier in December, Musk turned to journalist Matt Taibbi to show how the platform had blocked users from sharing a bombshell New York Post article in the lead-up to the 2020 election.
Last week, Musk also confirmed he “exited” former Twitter lawyer James Baker—himself a former FBI general counsel—from the company as Taibbi claimed that Baker was “vetting” files that were sent to him without Musk’s knowledge.
The White House said that it “was not involved” when asked whether the administration was in communication with Baker or anyone else at Twitter.
“We were not involved,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters last week, adding, “It’s up to private companies to make these types of decisions,” Jean-Pierre insisted. “We were not involved. I can say that we were not involved.”