BY BROWNSTONE INSTITUTE NOVEMBER 27, 2022
The transcript is not yet available and no reporters were allowed. But from the Attorneys General who brought the suit, the plaintiffs in the case and their attorney, and other parties to the lawsuit against the Biden administration, we have some information about the deposition provided by Anthony “I am the Science” Fauci. He has been the face of the pandemic response and stands accused of colluding with Big Tech to suppress dissent in violation of the First Amendment.
The question of whether the deposition was to be public was itself the subject of legal attention. The Department of Justice filed to block all recording and personally identifiable information for fear of public harassment, and this condition was granted. As a result, we have no transcript (yet) and one senses a great skittishness even from those who were there to explain the fullness of what transpired. Major national media have shown no interest in getting the story.
Nonetheless, we do have information thanks to some candid tweets and an article by one of the plaintiffs. The main takeaway is that Fauci has come down with a serious case of amnesia. Over seven hours, reported Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, he mostly stonewalled detailed questioning by answering that he has no clear memory of details that would shed light on his involvement in speech suppression.
“Wow! It was amazing to spend 7 hours with Dr. Fauci. The man who single-handedly wrecked the U.S. economy based upon ‘the science.’ Only to discover that he can’t recall practically anything dealing with his Covid response!”
This is despite the hundreds of pages and many public statements that seem to confirm that the White House and many government agencies worked very closely with Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others, to control the narrative for the better part of two years. And these efforts are probably ongoing.
Eric Schmitt, the Attorney General of Missouri and now Senator-Elect, bought the suit along with the Attorney General of Louisiana. Schmitt tweeted “some takeaways from the deposition of Fauci: Fauci knew the Lab Leak theory had merit but it’d come back to him & sought to immediately discredit it; He defended lockdowns; The rest of us ‘don’t have the ability’ to determine what’s best for ourselves.”
In addition, he wrote: “In the Fauci depo this week the court reporter sneezed. Fauci wanted her to wear a mask. This is the mentality in Nov 2022 of the guy who locked down our country & ruined countless lives & livelihoods.The Experts followed suit. Dissent was censored. In America. Never Again.”
Plaintiff Aaron Kheritary, Brownstone Senior Scholar and Fellow, explains as follows:
UPDATE: from our deposition of Fauci yesterday in the MO v. Biden case. Fauci confirmed that in Feb 2020, Fauci sent Clifford Lane, his deputy at the NAIAD, as the U.S. representative for the WHO delegation to China. Lane convinced Fauci we should emulate China’s lockdowns.
The CCP had announced China had contained the virus through draconian lockdowns–a claim now known to be false. Given the (sic) China’s pattern of falsified information, Lane and Fauci should have approached this claim with skepticism. Lockdowns were wholly untested & unprecedented.
As our lawyer, @Leftylockdowns1 put it, Fauci “was apparently willing to base his lockdown advocacy on the observations of a single guy relying on reports from a dictator.” Not exactly a double-blind randomized trial level of evidence, or indeed, any level of evidence.
Days after Lane returned, WHO published its report praising China’s strategy: “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. My colleague @jeffreyatucker at the @brownstoneinst gave a tongue-in-cheek gloss of WHO’s misty eyed report: “I’ve seen the future—and it is Wuhan.”
Lockdowns quickly spread from China to the West, as a troubling number of Western apologists besides the WHO also looked to the Chinese Communist Party’s covid response for guidance.
The U.S. & U.K. followed Italy’s lockdown, which had followed China, and all but a handful of countries around the globe immediately followed our lead. Within weeks the whole world was locked down.
From the very beginning, the evidential basis for this global policy catastrophe was always paper-thin. We are now living in the aftermath.
Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit added direct quotes from Fauci fully confirming Brownstone’s report on the NIH junket to China in February 2020:
John Sauer, “And Mr. Lane, after returning from the trip, said the Chinese were managing this in a very structured, organized way; correct?… Did you discuss Mr. Lane’s experience on the trip with him when he got back from the WHO trip?”
Dr. Fauci, ” The answer is I did… Dr. 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, and that’s what I believed he meant when he said [they] were managing this in a very structured organized way.”
Sauer: “So he drew the conclusion that there might have to be extreme, in his word, measures to mandate social distancing to bring the outbreak under control; correct?”
Fauci: “That’s what this is implying, yes… He did discuss with me that the Chinese 19 had a very organized way of trying to contain the spread in Wuhan and elsewhere. He didn’t get a chance to go to Wuhan, but he was in Beijing, and I believe other cities — at least Beijing — and he mentioned that they had a very organized, well regimented way of handling the outbreak.
Sauer: “And so he had a kind of positive reaction to that. There might be lessons to be learned for the United States in its response to the outbreak?”
Fauci: “I believe Dr. Lane came to the conclusion that when you have a widespread respiratory disease that a very common and effective way to curtail the rapid spread of the disease is by implementing social distancing measures… Dr. Lane is a very astute clinician, and I have every reason to believe that his evaluation of the situation was accurate and correct.”
Just to be clear, Fauci has here described a policy response that included welding shut the doors to people’s apartments and full totalitarian controls on movement as a “very organized” and “well regimented” implementation of “social distancing measures.”
Just let that sink in.
Hoft provided in addition the most detailed observations yet. Quoting here from his report in full:
- Fauci is a skillful liar. As we have seen now for months in his public comments, he lies when he feels he can get away with it or when he feels there will be no meaningful consequences.
- Fauci frequently lied unless and until he was confronted with alternate facts. For example, he claimed he really wasn’t familiar with Ralph Baric (creator of the COVID virus) or Peter Daszak (who brokered Fauci’s NIAID grant money to the Chinese biolab in Wuhan), until he was confronted with evidence that his own chief of staff emailed him describing Daszak and Baric as being part of Fauci’s team!
- Fauci claimed that he had no knowledge that his communications team did not coordinate with social media companies to stop “misinformation and disinformation” until he was forced to admit that he actually did know of certain instances of coordination.
- Fauci continued to push the now-debunked assertion that COVID-19 was a naturally occurring virus.
- Fauci said disinformation and misinformation (information he disagrees with) puts lives at risk.
- Fauci refused to define “gain of function” research saying it was too broad of a term to define.
- FUN FACT: until VERY recently, Fauci’s daughter worked for Twitter.
- FUN FACT: Fauci is a hypochondriac. In a bizarre and stunning segment during the deposition, Fauci blew off some of his frustration on the poor court reporter. The court reporter transcribing the deposition sneezed, and Fauci stopped the deposition and scolded the court reporter: “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU??? Do you have some sort of respiratory illness, because in the era of COVID, I’m concerned about being near you.” Court Reporter: “I’m not sick, I just have allergies. I can wear a mask though.” Fauci: “Ok. Thank you, because the last thing I want is to get COVID. [notably, (1) Fauci himself did not wear a mask at any point during the deposition, and (2) he appeared to be several feet away from the court reporter].
- FUN FACT: in another Fauci hypochondria spasm, Fauci conspicuously mean-mugged Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry after Landry sneezed into his suit coat jacket.
- Gamesmanship. Whenever introduced to a difficult topic, he dishonestly refused to define key terms so he could avoid being pinned down and held accountable. For example, when discussing the topic of “gain of function” research, he refused to acknowledge what the term meant, objecting that it was a term so broad it could not be defined.
- Fauci repeatedly claimed that he “couldn’t recall” or “couldn’t remember,” and attempted to bolster these incredible statements by appealing to the volume of emails he would receive or issues or studies that would come across his desk. This is simply not credible for nearly all of such statements, because the incidents in question were either recent or within the past three years, and they were all highly politically charged.
- Fauci’s other method of lying was simply to pretend that he didn’t understand something, and then hope the lawyer asking the question wouldn’t be able to catch him in the lie. For example, he very obviously lied at one point when he claimed he didn’t know what Meta (parent company of Facebook) was, until he was forced to admit that he did, in fact, know what Meta was.
- Another Fauci tactic: when forced to admit he had made a communication or reviewed a key record at a key time, or knew or worked with a key individual, he would try and downplay each negative fact by (1) downplaying the significance of the communication, (2) suggest that while he reviewed the key record, he didn’t really read it carefully, or (3) with false humility suggest that he was not an expert in X field and so did not fully understand the scientific study at issue, or (4) claim that, while he did “know” said individual, he doesn’t really know them that well because he meets so many doctors and scientists as part of his job.
- Other Fauci deceit tactics: throwing subordinates under the bus. Fauci is a famous survivor among bureaucrats. One way he has survived this long is by only taking credit for wins and pawning off losses on hapless subordinates. This trend continued in his deposition, in which he brazenly argued that, while he is the head of the NIAID and its $6 billion budget, he repeatedly didn’t have any knowledge about what his immediate direct reports were doing right under his nose. Fauci supports accountability, so long as he has a subordinate to sacrifice.
- Fauci argued that Hydroxychloroquine was “dangerous” and had “toxic” side effects…. Fauci claimed HCQ was ineffective in treating COVID, but couldn’t cite a single study to support his claim. Fauci also rejected the list of 371 studies on HCQ and its effectiveness in treating the disease when he was presented with the list.
- Fauci admitted lying to the public. In one of the more amazing segments during his deposition, Fauci admitted that he knowingly made false public health statements at the beginning of the pandemic, advising people against using masks in order to discourage the public from depleting the supply of masks.
- Fauci admitted he got his ideas of a lockdown from the Communist Chinese who implemented their extreme lockdowns in January 2020.
Jenin Younes, attorney for the plaintiffs who works with the New Civil Liberties Alliance, wrote on Twitter: “One of my favorite quotes from Fauci’s deposition today: “I have a very busy day job running a six billion dollar institute. I don’t have time to worry about things like the Great Barrington Declaration.”
Keep in mind that we have full records of emails in which Fauci took credit for coming “out very strongly publicly against the Great Barrington Declaration.”
In conclusion, we have here a revealing account of astonishing testimony from Fauci, which, to those of us who have followed this case closely from the very beginning, is only shocking because it confirms the fullness of the treachery we have long suspected was at the very heart of the US lockdown experience. We also have confirmed that the phrase “social distancing” really is nothing but a euphemism for a China-style full assault on everything we once called freedom in the West.