Statements made by Dr. Anthony Fauci under oath aren’t credible because of evidence that contradicts him, lawyers told a court in a new filing.
That includes the claim that Fauci didn’t think he had ever met with Dr. Ralph Baric, an American virologist who helped perform risky research on bat coronaviruses in China.
“I know who he is. I doubt if I’ve ever met him,” Fauci said during the late 2022 deposition—the first time he answered questions under oath since the pandemic began.
“But you don’t remember ever meeting him in person?” he was asked.
“I don’t recall. I could have met him. I run into several thousands of scientists that we refer to, but I don’t recall, certainly, having a relationship with him,” Fauci responded.
But Fauci’s official calendar lists a one-on-one meeting with Baric on Feb. 11, 2020. And a newly revealed message from a professor who recounted Baric’s account of the meeting showed they talked about man-made virus combinations.
“I talked to Ralph for a long time last night. He sounds beat,” Matt Frieman, a University of Maryland professor, wrote in a Feb. 18, 2020, message. “He said he sat in Fauci’s office talking about the outbreak and chimeras.”
A chimera is a combination of viruses.
The materials, unearthed from Freedom of Information Act requests from the nonprofits OpentheBooks.com, Judicial Watch, and U.S. Right to Know, and other evidence, including a 2020 email of talking points for Fauci that mentioned Baric being “on our team,” show that “Dr. Fauci’s testimony on this point is not credible,” the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana told a federal court in the new filing.
Fauci also claimed that he was not “100 percent certain” of the name of Dr. Shi Zhengli, known for her experiments on bat viruses in China. “I get sometimes confused with Asian names,” Fauci testified.
“Yet Dr. Shi Zhengli, the so-called ‘bat woman,’ is world-renowned as the researcher who may have caused the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been so since the beginning of the pandemic, and the name ‘Shi’ is included in the title of the article that Dr. Fauci forwarded to Dr. Hugh Auchincloss after midnight on February 1, 2020. Dr. Fauci’s testimony is not credible on this point,” Andrew Bailey and Jeff Landry, the attorneys general, wrote.
Fauci also repeatedly said in the deposition that he could not recall details about a secret phone call, held after he and deputies discussed how the NIAID had funded coronavirus experiments in Wuhan, China, where the first COVID-19 cases were detected. Shortly after the existence of the call became public, though, Fauci told USA Today, “I remember it very well.”
“Dr. Fauci’s testimony about lack of recall is not credible,” the lawyers said.
They also noted that when Fauci did characterize the call, he said that it involved a “good faith discussion back and forth between people who knew each other” and that “the general feeling among the participants on the call is that they wanted to get down to the truth and not wild speculation about things.” After the call, a number of participants wrote papers decrying the theory that COVID-19 started in a lab.
“Dr. Fauci thus seeks to have his cake and eat it too—he claims both to remember little or nothing of what was said on the call, and to clearly remember that the entire discussion was done in good faith and without any bias,” the attorneys general said. “In any event, subsequent communications and events make clear that Dr. Fauci’s testimony on this point is not credible.”
The filing was issued to U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, who is overseeing a lawsuit brought against the federal government for its censorship campaign with Big Tech firms.
The lawyers are asking Doughty to block the government from violating the First Amendment rights of Americans.
Fauci, who stepped down from his government positions around the New Year, could not be reached for comment.
CNN, while interviewing Fauci on Tuesday, played a clip of a 2021 clash between Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Fauci, in which Paul noted that the U.S. government has funded risky research in China and named both Baric and Zhengli. Paul has described Fauci as a liar who should be charged with perjury, while Fauci has said that Paul is wrong.
In an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday, Paul said Fauci has “orchestrated a cover-up,” referring in part to a newly disclosed message that indicates Fauci “prompted” the drafting of a paper that said COVID-19 couldn’t have come from a lab.
Fauci said in the new interview that he has been honest.
“The most important thing we’ve got to do is stick with data, stick with science, be transparent and be honest, which I have been very much so literally for the entire 50 years that I’ve been at the NIH and the 38 years that I directed the institute,” he said.