Fauci sought answers about Wuhan lab at start of pandemic

More than a year prior, however, Fauci sent an email to NIH Principal Deputy Director Hugh Auchincloss on Feb. 1, 2020, with an attachment labeled “Baric, Shi et al - Nature medicine - SARS Gain of function.pdf” and the subject line, “IMPORTANT.” Fauci’s message had a tone of urgency, saying, “Hugh: It is essential that we speak this AM. Keep your cell phone on. I have a conference call at 7:45 AM with [Health and Human Services Secretary Alex] Azar. It likely will be over at 8:45 AM. Read this paper as well as the e-mail that I will forward to you now. You will have tasks today that must be done. Thanks, Tony.” Fauci sent the same attachment to Lawrence Tabak, the principal deputy director and deputy ethics counselor at NIH, with the subject line “FW: IMPORTANT” and the message, “Here it is.”

Auchincloss replied to Fauci later that day, saying, “The paper you sent me says the experiments were performed before the gain of function pause but have since been reviewed and approved by NIH. Not sure what that means since Emily is sure that no Coronavirus work [has] gone through the P3 framework.” Although “Emily” is not identified, Emily Erbelding, director of the NIH’s division of microbiology and infectious diseases, is mentioned in over five dozen Fauci emails. Auchincloss continued: “She will try to determine if we have any distant ties to this work abroad.” Fauci replied, “OK. Stay tuned.”