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Ex-Fauci top adviser faces Congress with shocking excuse about hiding incriminating COVID emails


One of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s former top advisers delivered few answers but plenty of excuses to lawmakers during a congressional hearing.

Dr. David Morens offered apologies and claimed some of his newly revealed communications during the COVID-19 pandemic were just a “joke” and that he was “ashamed” as he was grilled by the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability on Wednesday.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) senior adviser appeared before lawmakers hours after the release of eyebrow-raising emails between himself and Dr. Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance. The non-governmental organization conducted gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab in China before the pandemic outbreak.

Republicans on the committee questioned how Morens got around Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by using his personal email account and also accused him of deleting emails from the period.

Referring to much of the language in the emails as just “black humor,” Morens told lawmakers, “It’s just something I’m very ashamed that I can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.”

Morens said in one of the emails to Daszak that he “learned from our FOIA lady here how to make emails disappear after I am FOIA’d, but before the search starts. So I think we are all safe. Plus I deleted most of those earlier emails after sending them to Gmail.”

But when House Rep. Richard McCormick, R-Ga., asked him what he learned from the “FOIA lady,” Morens said, “that was a joke.”

“Are you sure about that? We can subpoena her email too,” McCormick replied. “You said she gave you advice… so you were lying then but telling us the truth now?”

“I wasn’t lying, I was making a joke. I said something like, ‘I have a way to make it go away.’ But that was just a euphemism,” Morens told the lawmaker.

In another message to Daszak from his personal email account, Morens had said, “We are all smart enough to know to never have smoking guns and if we did, we wouldn’t put them in emails. And if we found them, we would delete them.”

Asked if he “deleted any records” or if he had spoken with Fauci about deleting any communications, Morens told Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., “Not to my knowledge.”

“But again, we’re at the issue of defining what’s a federal record? I deleted a lot of emails. I do it every day,” he added.

“I don’t know what to say except I’m sorry,” he said during his testimony.

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