Former Fauci Adviser Apologizes After Memo Reveals Allegations of Illegal Activity: “I Was Making A Joke”

Hours after the release of several seemingly damning emails revealing his provocative COVID-era communications, Dr. David Morens, a former senior adviser to Dr. Anthony Fauci, offered excuses and apologies but few real answers during a contentious congressional showdown. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) senior adviser appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability with few insights about the alarming messages but a host of apologies to lawmakers.

“It’s just something I’m very ashamed that I can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube,” Dr. Morens said of the emails’ language, much of which he attributed to being just “black humor.” Republican lawmakers accused Dr. Morens of deleting emails and using his personal email account to skirt Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic released a staff memorandum titled “Allegations of Wrongdoing and Illegal Activity by Dr. David Morens, Senior Advisor to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases former-Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci.” This memo presents overwhelming evidence from Dr. Morens’s own emails that he engaged in serious misconduct and potentially illegal actions while serving as a Senior Advisor to Dr. Fauci during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The subcommittee obtained these emails through a subpoena issued in April 2024, which compelled Dr. Morens to produce 30,000 pages of responsive documents​.

Email evidence suggests Dr. Fauci used his personal email to conduct official business, raising serious questions about whether Dr. Fauci was part of a conspiracy at the highest levels of NIH to hide official records related to the origins of COVID-19. The memo indicates that Dr. Fauci was potentially aware of, and may have engaged in, undermining the operations of the U.S. government by assisting Dr. Morens in backchanneling internal NIH information to EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak. In Dr. Morens’s personal emails, he referenced conversations with Dr. Fauci regarding EcoHealth’s suspended grant, detailing how Dr. Fauci intended to protect Dr. Daszak.

Furthermore, the NIH FOIA office allegedly instructed Dr. Morens on how to delete federal records. Dr. Morens admitted in his emails to deleting correspondence with EcoHealth Alliance to avoid public transparency, stating that he had “learned the tricks” to make emails disappear. This information is highly concerning as it implicates not just Dr. Morens but also suggests potential complicity from the NIH FOIA office.

Dr. Morens routinely instructed others, including Dr. Daszak, to use his personal email instead of his NIH email to evade FOIA requirements. Additionally, Dr. Morens shared confidential, internal information with Dr. Daszak that had the potential to undermine the operations of the U.S. government.

Dr. Morens even went so far as to ask Dr. Daszak for monetary reimbursement — specifically a “kickback” — for his assistance in editing EcoHealth Alliance’s grant compliance efforts. This request is another serious allegation that suggests potentially illegal activity.

The memo also suggests that Dr. Fauci was aware of Morens’s actions. In one email, Morens mentioned that “Tony is now fully aware I think and is I am told involved in some sort of damage control​,” alleging that Dr. Fauci might have had knowledge of and possibly condoned these efforts to sidestep transparency requirements.

“I was making a joke”

In one of the newly released emails to Dr. Daszak, Dr. Morens said 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.” During Wednesday’s testimony, Morens claimed “that was a joke” when House Rep. Richard McCormick asked what he learned from the “FOIA lady.”

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

Dr. Morens also wrote from his personal email account to Daszak, saying, “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.”

Committee Chairman James Comer asked Dr. Morens if he “deleted any records” or had conversations with Fauci regarding deletions. Morens replied, “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.” At one point in the hearing, Dr. Morens offered: “I don’t know what to say except I’m sorry.”

In other released emails, Dr. Morens appeared to express concerns about what was being sent to his work email and what was sent to his personal email, informing those on the email chain that they did not need to worry and that he would “delete anything I don’t want to see in the New York Times.” It is not clear if any deletions actually occurred.

“As you know, I try to always communicate on gmail because my NIH email is FOIA’d constantly,” Dr. Morens wrote in a September 2021 email, which was sent at the time to many scientists involved in the debate about the origins of the COVID-19 virus. “Stuff sent to my gmail gets to my phone… but not my NIH computer.”

Chairman Brad Wenstrup emphasized the importance of accountability in the memo, stating, “This subpoena is an important effort to ensure that federal health officials never again feel empowered to duck accountability to the American people and willfully undermine our elected government.”

The Select Subcommittee continues to investigate the full extent of Dr. Morens’s actions and any involvement by other officials, including Dr. Fauci.

The use of personal emails for official business not only violates FOIA but also potentially breaches the Federal Records Act. Destruction or unlawful removal of federal records is a felony under 18 U.S.C. § 2071. America First Legal has already filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for concealing federal records related to Dr. Morens’s actions​.

Dr. Fauci played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). He became the public face of the U.S. government’s response to the pandemic, providing guidance on health measures, vaccine development, and public safety. His frequent appearances in media and at congressional hearings made him a trusted voice for many Americans, though he also faced significant criticism and politicization of his role from various quarters​.


Information for this briefing was found via the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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