Schmitt spotlighted a Feb. 4, 2020, email advising former Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell not to wear a mask when traveling. On March 8, he told “60 Minutes” there’s “no reason to be walking around with a mask. However, less than one month later, he was advocating universal mask mandates.
After saying he didn’t recall the Burwell email, Fauci, when prompted with more information, said,” I vaguely recall talking to [Burwell] about certain safety issues regarding masks.”
The email, however, had been publicized after it was obtained through a FOIA request because it undermined Fauci’s claim that he was telling a noble lie to the “60 Minutes” audience to ensure frontline workers didn’t run out of masks.
When he came out on April 3, 2020, in favor of universal masking, Fauci also contended the science had changed regarding the effectiveness of masks in curbing the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
However, in the deposition, he was unable to cite any study backing his sudden change of position.
Further, the counsel for the state AGs, Missouri Solicitor General John Sauer, referenced a March 31, 2020, email from Fauci – just four days before he advocated universal masking in a White House press conference – in which he forwarded a review of masking studies indicating they were not effective.
Asked about the email and the masking review, Fauci said, “Yeah, I don’t recall that, so I’m not able to answer accurately, I believe.”
🚨BREAKING: Here is the full transcript of the Anthony Fauci deposition: https://t.co/IN3pjYcK2m
A few takeaways… pic.twitter.com/oQUjO8Fp5w
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) December 5, 2022
A clue as to what may have changed Fauci’s mind about masking was reported in June 2021 by the New York Post.
Eight days after the “60 Minutes” interview aired, Fauci received an email from a man named Michael Liu with the subject line: “Great advice from Chinese expert.”
Liu cited Dr. Wenhong Zhang, the head of the infectious disease unit at Huashan Hospital in Shanghai.
The Post noted that the email did not mention that Zhang was a
Communist Party official who drew attention in China early in the pandemic when he announced he would send doctors and nurses who were Communist Party members to frontline hospitals.
Liu wrote to Fauci: “According to Dr. Zhang’s video … COVID-19 can really be prevented with 3 key measures, i.e. to keep social distancing , wash hands frequently and wear masks.”
“I strongly suggest American people should wear masks like Chinese, South Korean people, etc., because even China’s highest leader, Mr. Jinping Xi, wears masks.”
“Liu concluded his email with: “God bless you! God bless America, China and the whole world!”
Fauci replied: “Thank you for your note. We indeed have learned much from our Chinese colleagues. I appreciate your bringing these issues to our attention. Tony.”
‘Very impressed’ with China’s ‘handling’ of pandemic
In the deposition, Fauci was asked about a trip by one of his deputies, Dr. Chris Lane, to China in February 2020 with a WHO delegation.
Fauci testified that Lane “was very impressed about how from a clinical public health standpoint, the Chinese were handling the isolation, the contact tracing, the building of facilities to take care of people.”
Significantly, just days after Lane returned from China, WHO published a report praising China’s “uncompromising and rigorous use of non-pharmaceutical measures (lockdowns) to contain transmission of the COVID-19 virus in multiple settings provides vital lessons for the global response.”
“This rather unique and unprecedented public health response in China reversed the escalating cases,” the report claimed.
Implementation of lockdowns quickly spread from China to the West, with Italy, the United States and the United Kingdom leading the way until virtually the whole world was locked down.
In the joint lawsuit by Missouri’s Schmitt and Louisiana’s Landry, a federal court in October granted the states’ request to depose Fauci and other top Biden administration officials, including former Biden press secretary Jen Psaki and the current White House spokeswoman, Karine Jean-Pierre.
Fauci is retiring as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases after 38 years