Attorneys General Eric Schmitt and Jeff Landry will question Dr. Anthony Fauci Wednesday under oath for at least eight hours regarding Fauci’s alleged role in colluding with Big Tech to control communication about COVID-19 as part of the GOP AGs lawsuit.
“We’ll be taking Dr. Fauci’s deposition tomorrow in our lawsuit against the Biden Administration for colluding with Big Tech to censor speech. We have lots of questions for Dr. Fauci,” Schmitt said in a Tuesday tweet.
The deposition began at 8 a.m. ET and will be sealed under court order. It is expected to be an all-day ordeal.
Last month, a federal judge ordered that Fauci’s high-profile public comments made him a key figure in the lawsuit from the Republican attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana. The AGs allege “collusion” between the Biden administration and social media companies to censor speech that could be politically damaging to the White House, such as the origin of the virus and the effectiveness of masks.
Schmitt and Landry filed the lawsuit in May, and accused top-ranking government officials of working with the giant social media companies Meta [Facebook], Twitter and YouTube “under the guise of combating misinformation” in order to achieve greater censorship.
One fact they want to prove is that Fauci worked with Facebook and others to tamp down talk that the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan, China.
“Defendant Dr. Anthony Fauci, a senior federal government official, coordinating with others, orchestrated a campaign to discredit the lab-leak hypothesis in early 2020,” Landry and Schmitt said in their brief. “As director of [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases] NIAID, Dr. Fauci had funded risky ‘gain-of-function’ research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology through intermediaries such as EcoHealth Alliance, headed by Dr. Peter Daszak.”
“Thus, if the lab-leak theory were established, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Daszak could be potentially implicated in funding the research on viruses that caused the COVID19 pandemic and killed millions of people worldwide,” they said.
At his final White House press briefing ahead of his retirement, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre lauded Fauci’s work to provide “information and facts” to the American people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As you all know, Dr. Fauci is retiring next month, and I am honored – so honored – to have him join me today one more time, one last time at the podium,” Jean-Pierre said. “For so many Americans throughout our fight with COVID, Dr. Fauci has been a source of information and facts.”
“It’s really a great pleasure to be back here with you again, albeit I believe for the last time,” Fauci said before once again urging Americans to get vaccinated.
“Every day for all those years I’ve given it all that I have, and I’ve never left anything on the field,” he continued. “I gave it all I got.”