Here’s What Fauci’s Top Adviser Told Congress About Him

Dr. David Morens testified after internal emails shed light on Dr. Anthony Fauci’s actions during the pandemic.
Here’s What Fauci’s Top Adviser Told Congress About Him
Dr. Davis Morens, a longtime adviser to Dr. Anthony Fauci, in Washington on May 22, 2024. (U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic via The Epoch Times)
Zachary Stieber

A longtime adviser to Dr. Anthony Fauci who was director of a federal institute for decades disclosed new details about the doctor during a congressional hearing on May 22.

Dr. David Morens, senior adviser to the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), answered questions under oath after emails obtained by lawmakers showed him discussing a “’secret' back channel” to Dr. Fauci and how Dr. Fauci used his personal email at times.
Here’s what Dr. Morens said about Dr. Fauci, who did not respond to requests for comment, during the hearing.

‘I Certainly Told Him Some Things’

In one email on April 21, 2021, Dr. Morens wrote to five people outside the government, “I forgot to say there is no worry about FOIAs. I can either send stuff to Tony on his private gmail, or hand it to him at work or at his house.”

Dr. Morens added that Dr. Fauci “is too smart to let colleagues send him stuff that could cause trouble.”

During the hearing, Dr. Morens was asked if he ever sent information related to COVID-19 to Dr. Fauci’s personal email.

“I don’t remember if I did,” Dr. Morens responded. “I may have, but I certainly told him some things that he asked me to tell him about the situation with Peter.”

Did Dr. Morens ever talk to Dr. Fauci about deleting emails?

“I don’t remember any such thing,” Dr. Morens said.

Dr. Morens frequently corresponded with Peter Daszak, the president of a group called EcoHealth Alliance that funneled more than $1 million from the National Institutes of Health to a laboratory in Wuhan, China, that was experimenting on bat coronaviruses before the COVID-19 pandemic started. Dr. Morens primarily used his personal email in, according to him, an attempt to avoid Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Dr. Morens was later asked if he ever discussed with Dr. Fauci using personal phones or emails to communicate with Mr. Daszak.

“I don’t remember it. It’s possible. I probably wouldn’t have remembered it, and I don’t remember it,” Dr. Morens said. “He and I usually never talked about that kind of stuff. It would be very unusual if it happened.”

‘He Just Sort of Looked at Me’

Speaking in January in a deposition with the U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, Dr. Morens said that he did not have conversations with Dr. Fauci about EcoHealth. But on Oct. 25, 2021, he wrote to Mr. Daszak, “from Tony’s numerous recent comments to me, and from what Francis has been vocal about over the past 5 days, they are trying to protect you, which also protects, their own reputations.” Francis refers to former NIH director Dr. Francis Collins.

“Did you ever have any conversations with Dr. Fauci regarding EcoHealth?” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) asked, in light of the newly disclosed emails.

“The ones you just mentioned, I don’t have any recollection of that,” Dr. Morens said. “But let me just say what I do remember is one time in a face-to-face meeting he referred or alluded to some stuff that was in the press. I don’t even think he said what it was, but it was about, I assumed it was about Peter’s grants and press reports about it, and the ending of the grant.

“And I said to him—sort of out of the blue, guessing what he was really thinking—I said to him, ‘Tony, I know you would have never been involved in getting rid of that grant.’ And he didn’t respond. He just sort of looked at me.”

During former President Donald Trump’s administration, the grant to EcoHealth was suspended because of concerns over experiments it was funding.

In another missive written to Mr. Daszak shortly after the suspension, Dr. Morens that he had let Dr. Fauci know about the action.

“There are things I can’t say except Tony is aware and I have learned that there are ongoing efforts within NIH to steer through this with minimal damage to you, Peter, and colleagues, and to NIH and NIAID,” Dr. Morens wrote. “No guarantees, but let us hope. I imagine this will be handled at the level of Francis and Tony, within NIH, and I don’t expect to be in the loop.”

The grant was restored in 2023, but earlier in May President Joe Biden’s administration suspended funding to both EcoHealth and Mr. Daszak in part because the organization gave notice nearly two years late of experiments that had increased the severity of a bat coronavirus in mice.

‘Back Channel’?

On May 13, 2021, Dr. Morens told Mr. Daszak and others that he connected a reporter to Dr. Fauci “to our ’secret' back channel.” The reporter ended up emailing Dr. Fauci, according to Dr. Morens.

“You wrote that you connected a reporter to Dr. Fauci via your ’secret back channel.' What back channel did you have for Dr. Fauci?” Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), chairman of the subcommittee, asked Dr. Morens.

Dr. Morens said that the term and others he used were jokes used to try to cheer up Mr. Daszak because he'd become depressed.

Dr. Morens said that “Tony does not want me to connect anybody to him directly” so he would send requests to a group of government employees.

“They would meet in person with Tony every morning and say we got a message that so and so wants to talk to you or so and so wants to watch something from you. And then he would decide, usually right there. I was never involved in that. At least not in recent years. I used to go to those meetings many years ago,” Dr. Morens said. “It’s not really a back channel, but I’m being, making snarky comments. It’s a well-established, still functioning channel. I guess it’s still functioning, but certainly, before I was put on administrative leave, that channel was still operating, and it’s the way things were done.”

Dr. Fauci is scheduled to appear before the same panel on June 3 to answer questions in a public hearing.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Dr. Morens, said it remained to be seen whether the department, which did not return an inquiry, acts.

“And frankly, if you were prosecuting this, what you would do is offer Morens possible immunity, if he'll testify to what Anthony Fauci was doing,” Dr. Paul wrote on social media, “since I believe Anthony Fauci was in charge of the entire conspiracy.”

Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]