Fauci's Conflict Of Interest

Fauci's Conflict Of Interest

Food for thought

tippinsights Editorial Board

On Thursday, the prestigious journal Science published a detailed technical report by Michael Worobey, a virology expert at the University of Arizona. Dr. Worobey concludes that Covid-19 originated in a wet market in Wuhan, China.

The report is a dramatic turnaround for Science and a vindication that scientists often discover truths that contrast first impressions. During the initial days of the pandemic, the publication hewed strongly to the professional opinion of experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and scientists at the World Health Organization. They maintained that no evidence existed to link the virus to China.

Jon Cohen, a senior correspondent with Science, was one of the first journalists to lift Dr. Anthony Fauci to the preeminent status he has since enjoyed. Interviewing Fauci for his March 2020 piece, when Covid had just arrived in America, Cohen starts with this softball:

Q: Most everyone thinks that you're doing a remarkable job, but you're standing there as the representative of truth and facts, and things are being said that aren't true and aren't factual.

Fauci responds with a long-winded answer referring to then-President Trump's daily ramblings and generously concludes, "OK, he said it. Let's try and get it corrected for the next time."

Q: You have not said China virus.

A: Ever.

Q: And you never will, will you?

A: No.

For America's lead scientist to assume such a definitive position long before any researcher had conducted a single investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus should have sounded warning bells. But for nearly twelve months, social media went on a guilt-free gloating trip elevating Fauci higher and higher into the stratosphere, as the world changed forever.

But what we know today as true is also part of history. Serious journalists, including Nicholas Wade, a former science writer for the New York Times, and Katherine Eban, of Vanity Fair, have written credible long-form pieces arguing that the virus originated in China and perhaps, through a lab leak in Wuhan.

Fauci, far from correcting the record for the next time, continues to weave a tangled web as he confronts new details that significantly weaken his original stand.

On May 11, Sen. Rand Paul (KY) was the first to challenge him in yet another Senate hearing, which has become must-see C-SPAN TV. Paul publicly raised the possibility that the Wuhan lab was partially funded with a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the premier research facility in the United States run by Fauci.

"Dr. Fauci, do you still support NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?"

"Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology."

Comedians can spot shifting winds quicker and better than most people. On June 15, Jon Stewart, the former Daily Show host, went on the Late Night show with his former mentee, Steven Colbert, to shock the elites who have steadfastly supported Fauci. "Science has in many ways eased the suffering of this pandemic.." Stewart deadpanned, ".. which was more than likely caused by science."

But Fauci remained unmoved. In another Senate hearing on July 20, the eighty-year-old star scientist appeared to lose his traditional calm when again asked about the NIH funding for Wuhan. Addressing Sen. Paul, Fauci said, "I totally resent the lie you are now propagating!"

Not so fast, Dr. Fauci. In another blockbuster Vanity Fair piece on October 22, Katherine Eban revealed that the NIH had sent a letter to members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The letter acknowledged that EcoHealth Alliance, a New York City-based nonprofit operating on an NIH grant, did indeed enhance a bat coronavirus to become potentially more infectious to humans. An NIH spokesperson defended Dr. Fauci, saying that he "did not have the progress report that detailed the controversial research when he testified in July." Yeah, right.

A TIPP poll conducted in September, before Eban's article appeared, shows that Americans are split 45%-45%, with 9% undecided, on this question: "Generally speaking, how much trust do you place in scientists related to the origin of the coronavirus?"

Does Fauci have an inherent conflict of interest that forces him to be coy? What would be the consequences if Fauci were to admit that he publicly funded gain of function research? Was it his incompetence in not holding Ecohealth Alliance accountable earlier that helped create the pandemic?

In the same TIPP poll, Americans are more trustworthy of scientists regarding vaccine safety, 61%-34%, a factor that President Biden has tried to exploit by pushing vaccine mandates through OSHA. But, last week, his executive order was permanently blocked by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Courts can spot shifting winds too.


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TIPP Takes

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Nationals, Company For Alleged Vote Meddling

U.S. accuses six Iranians and a cyber company of trying to undermine confidence in the country's 2020 presidential elections.


In a statement on Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Department said "state-sponsored Iranian cyber actors" between August and November 2020 "executed an online operation to intimidate and influence American voters, and to undermine voter confidence and sow discord."

The department accused the sanctioned individuals and company of disseminating disinformation on social media and sending threatening emails and a fraudulent video that sought to "undermine faith in the election by implying that individuals could cast fraudulent ballots."

The move comes a day after American, British, and Australian officials warned that hackers linked to the Iranian government have targeted a "broad range of victims" inside the U.S., including by deploying ransomware.

Philippines Tells China To 'Back Off' After Water Cannons Fired In South China Sea

The Philippine government says three Chinese coast guard vessels blocked and fired water cannons at two supply boats headed towards a Philippine-occupied atoll in the South China Sea this week.

China Coast Guard

The incident prompted swift condemnation from Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin, who warned Beijing that a mutual defense treaty with the U.S. covered the vessels.

Philippine national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon said two Chinese coast guard ships blocked the two wooden-hulled supply vessels.

Mr. Esperon said a third coast guard ship water cannoned the two [vessels] for one hour, with the impact causing one of the ship's outriggers to be displaced. Philippine authorities plan to deploy coast guard and Bureau of Fisheries vessels to back up its forces at Second Thomas Shoal.

U.S. Wants 'Race To The Top' On Africa Infrastructure Amid China Competition, Says Blinken

Tony Blinken Is Asked On China's Infrastructure Investment in Nigeria, And the U.S. Response.

Africa map

Blinken said investment from China in Africa was, in principle, a good thing, but they should not burden countries with "tremendous debt that they cannot repay." He added that workers' rights, environmental protection, and safeguards against corruption should also be in place.

Developed countries in the G7 would invest in Africa as part of the so-called Build Back Better World program, he added. Blinken signed a $2.17 billion development assistance program with Nigeria on Thursday and said Washington would also continue to invest in security in Nigeria.

China is one of the major bilateral lenders to Nigeria and has provided financing for infrastructure development such as roads, rail, and gas pipelines. On its website, Nigeria's public debt office says that Chinese debt stood at $3.121 billion or 3.94% of the country's total public debt stock as of March 2020.

India, China Agree To Restart Talks Between Border Commanders

Meeting between Indian and Chinese diplomats comes a month after the 13th round of border commander talks ended in acrimony.

India-China Border

After a month-long freeze on Line of Actual Control (LAC) disengagement talks, Indian and Chinese diplomats decided to reconvene talks between border commanders "at an early date."

The officials also agreed that they must "ensure a stable ground situation and avoid any untoward incident" in the interim until they resolve the situation. The 13th round of border commander talks on October 10 ended with an acrimonious exchange between both sides.

This is the 9th round of WMCC (Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs) talks just in the last year since the Galwan incident in June 2020, showing the seriousness of the situation between the two militaries at present.


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