WaPo 'Fact-Check' on Fauci Almost Admits the Obvious, But Doesn't

Townhall Media

Glenn Kessler got SO close to admitting the truth, but when push comes to shove, he takes one for the Fauci team. 

It's pathetic, really, since he not only had the goods but because he is smart enough to know it. 


First, the facts: The White Coat Waste Project has publicized a cruel and distasteful experiment funded by the NIH under Anthony Fauci's NIAID that used cruel means to infect beagles--you know, those cute dogs with sad-looking eyes--with a nasty disease that comes from sand flies. 

I'm not going to go into details, but let's say it was a bad look for Fauci and the NIAID. People don't tend to like the idea of cruel experiments on animals, and certainly not on dogs we associate with being pets we let our kids play with. When the program was exposed, the NIAID went into damage control mode, and the MSM joined forces with him to debunk the story. 

It came up again when Marjorie Taylor Greene asked Fauci about the issue in his latest testimony before Congress, and Glenn Kessler got on the case in order to slam Greene

“As director of NIH, you did sign off on these so-called scientific experiments. And as a dog lover, I want to tell you this is disgusting and evil. What you signed off on and these experiments that happened to beagles paid for by the American taxpayer. And I want you to know Americans don’t pay their taxes for animals to be tortured like this.”

— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), questioning Anthony S. Fauci, the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), during a House hearing on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, June 3

“What does dogs have to do with anything that we’re talking about today?”

— Fauci, in response.

During the coronavirus hearing this week, Greene attacked Fauci as she held up a photo of two sedated puppies, their heads placed in mesh cages, as they lie on a table while being swarmed by sand flies. Outside the hearing, an ad truck commissioned by a group opposed to taxpayer-funded animal experiments circled Capitol Hill with billboards that showed Fauci together with this photo and directed people to a website called BeagleGate.org. The group, the White Coat Waste Project, is founded and run by people with links to conservative-leaning organizations, The Washington Post has reported.

When we first saw Greene hold up the photo, we figured this would be easy to debunk — another in a string of misleading attacks against Fauci, who became the public face of the government’s response to the pandemic.

After all, when this first became an issue in 2021 — unrelated to covid then as it is now but part of a general effort among conservatives to discredit Fauci in any way possible — a raft of fact checks noted that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said the study in question, conducted in Tunisia, had been attributed in error to the agency that Fauci ran, a division of NIH. The scientific journal that published the study issued a correction. NIH said that it did fund a study in Tunisia involving dogs and sand flies, but NIH suggested that study was a more benign one that allowed the dogs to roam.


Kessler set out to debunk Greene and the awful, truly evil, bad, bad conservatives who were smearing Anthony Fauci. 

If a conservative says it, it must be false, and Kessler was going to debunk the story. He, of course, failed to do so because the entire thing is true, although Kessler never, ever, quite gets to the point of saying so despite the overwhelming evidence that Greene and WCW are not only right, but that the NIH and Fauci went to extraordinary lengths to cover it up. 

But it’s more complicated than that, a review of NIH emails and documents obtained by the group since 2021 under the Freedom of Information Act suggests. Some of the documents call into question NIH’s statements at the time, part of what appears to be a bungled public relations response.

What’s less complicated is that it’s silly to personally blame Fauci for the design of research studies — about 5,500 were approved by NIAID just in 2023 — endorsed many levels below the director. “The experiments that NIH funded go through strict regulatory processes of the treatment of animals, the humane treatment of animals,” Fauci said in response to another lawmaker who raised the issue in the hearing this week. “I signed off on them because they were approved by a peer review.”

Do you know what a "bungled public relations response" means in this case? 

A full-scale coverup, and yes, Anthony Fauci was at the heart of it, despite Kessler flying cover for him here. 

How do I know that? Let me count the ways, thanks to Kessler himself, who undoubtedly knows that Fauci led a coverup but can't make himself admit it to the public. 

In late October 2021, CNN asked Fauci to appear for an interview, and one of his staff members suggested late on Oct. 24 that Fauci pause any TV interviews “until we get a handle on this.” Early the next morning, Fauci emailed 12 officials and asked them to “tell me what grant or contract they are referring to.” Within two hours, one replied that they might have identified the grant. (Most staff members’ names are redacted.)

“Let us find out for sure if it is that grant, and then let us take a look at what the experimental design is, and importantly whether it has received the appropriate ethical and animal care consideration,” Fauci replied in an email. “I want this done right away since we are getting bombarded by protests.”

Within two hours, one of the researchers involved, Abhay Satoskar, a professor of pathology and microbiology at Ohio State University, emailed to say that NIAID had been mistakenly cited as a funder of the study and that he would seek a correction from the journal. One NIAID official wrote in an email that Satoskar “stated that it was mistakenly cited because he was not clear of the true purpose of US funding acknowledgment” and that the program in question had been funded only by the Pasteur Institute.

NIAID issued a public statement on Oct. 26 saying it had funded a separate sand flies project involving the study of a vaccine to prevent leishmaniasis. In this study, 12 dogs were given the vaccine and then put in “an enclosed open space” outside during high sand fly season, NIAID said, to see whether the dogs still became infected.


Two hours. Fauci finds himself under fire for a program and in two hours we discover all this information. 

The government suddenly gets efficient. But perhaps, my friend, it could be true, right? Miracles do happen and Tunisia is the home of beagle/sand fly research studies that all happen simultaneously with no connection to each other, right?

A potential conflict of interest, and a correction

Meanwhile, the emails show that when Satoskar asked Shaden Kamhawi, the editor of the journal, to correct the article, she agreed immediately but noted internally that she might have a conflict of interest because she was an employee of NIAID. (Her bio on the NIAID website also listed Satoskar as one of her “main collaborators.”)

“As I am an NIAID employee, I am not sure if there is a COi here so please let me know,” she wrote in an email to colleagues that was written just six hours after Fauci first asked for information.

NIH also declined to answer questions about her potential conflict, but the emails obtained by White Coat Waste contain a draft statement to be given to reporters if the question arose. “The request for a correction of the funding statement came from the authors of the study,” the statement said. “It is a standard policy of the journal of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and its responsibility as a publisher to correct publication errors when made aware of them. None of Dr. Kamhawi’s supervisors at NIAID were involved with the journal’s decision to make this correction.”

The press guidance said Kamhawi became aware of the issue only in November, though the internal emails show she learned of it on Oct. 25, the same day Fauci asked about it.


WOW! The efficiency of government is displayed here, isn't it? In just six hours Fauci asks a question about a public relations disaster, the grant is tracked down, a different project (supposedly) is tracked down, and an NIH employee is told (against her better judgment because of the Conflict of Interest) to issue a correction. 

And NIH puts out a timeline that hides all this. Funny that. 

But wait! There's more!

NIH then went and deleted the grant from their database. That seems to be part of a pattern, you know. Avoiding disclosures, fudging timelines, talking to the "FOIA lady" about how to avoid the law...

When The Post reported on the controversy in November 2021, the article noted: “The trapped-beagles study does not appear in a database of NIH-funded projects.” The emails show that, while it was removed before the publication of The Post article, the study had been listed in the database for months and was still listed as of the previous month, when Fauci first asked about the controversy.

“We need that to be corrected too, ASAP please,” one NIH staffer wrote on Oct. 27. The anxiety level rose as officials realized it would take several days, until Nov. 1, before the project would be removed from the database — where reporters could not then find it.

NIH also declined to answer questions about the removal of the study from the database.

By this time, any normal person would conclude that there is more than enough evidence to say that Fauci, the NIH, NIAID, and all these people are covering up a "public relations" problem. Deleting the grant makes that obvious, if you hadn't concluded it by now. 

But Kessler just finds this complicated and a bungled public relations response. He won't come out and just say that these are liars who obviously covered up a problematic grant. 


The Bottom Line

The emails show that NIH was not fully transparent as it tried to handle a public-relations nightmare. Perhaps there was little reason to doubt Satoskar, but officials embraced his explanation without confirming as they rushed out a statement. They made no acknowledgment that they had removed the study from the NIH grant database or that the editor of the journal that quickly issued the correction had a potential conflict of interest. Moreover, the NIH study in Tunisia that the agency said it funded was cast in a positive light that is undermined by the grant application that has since been made public.

Not fully transparent? That's a very nice way to describe a coverup. 

Of course, all this is especially relevant because it is part of an obvious pattern, and Kessler can't seem to find a way to admit that. The Proximal Origins paper regarding COVID shows much the same instinct: lie, cover up, mess with the documents, and get journals and the media to do your bidding. 

And The Washington Post PUBLISHED what are obvious lies, and Kessler apparently thinks that is a mere faux pas. They weren't "transparent."

You could say that. Or, you could say, they put out a pack of lies, fooled us, and now they are caught. But that would require admitting that Marjorie Taylor-Greene was right and that the Post got snookered. 

Never going to happen. 

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