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Press Release Published: May 22, 2024

Wenstrup Opens Hearing with Dr. Fauci’s Senior Advisor: Did Dr. Fauci Condone Your Nefarious Behavior?

WASHINGTON — Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) opened today’s hearing titled “A Hearing with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious

Diseases Senior Scientific Advisor, Dr. David Morens” by noting that Dr. David Morens — a former top advisor to Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — is appearing before the Select Subcommittee today after a subpoena for his testimony was announced. Evidence obtained by the Select Subcommittee shows Dr. Morens unlawfully deleted federal COVID-19 records, shared nonpublic information about National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant processes with his “best-friend” EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak, and likely lied to Congress multiple times. During his opening remarks, Chairman Wenstrup outlined the Select Subcommittee’s latest staff memo which exposes Dr. Morens’s misconduct and reveals overwhelming evidence gathered over a year-long investigation. Notably, Dr. Morens’s egregious behavior occurred in one of the most senior offices at NIH while serving as a senior advisor to  Dr. Fauci. Chairman Wenstrup concluded his opening statement by emphasizing that the Select Subcommittee is working to ensure federal health officials never again feel empowered to subvert our elected government.

Following Chairman Wenstrup’s and Ranking Member Ruiz’s remarks, Dr. David Morens declined to give an opening statement.

Below are Select Subcommittee Chairman Wenstrup’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

Dr. Morens, you wrote in an email that you have never said anything that you “would not be happy to defend before a congressional committee.”

Today, sir, is that day.

The Select Subcommittee has been thoroughly investigating the U.S. Government’s response to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

This years long investigation has been conducted to both understand the actions our public health agencies, institutions, and officials took so that we can learn from deficiencies and ingrain proficiencies.

We are learning from experiences and developing better pathways for processes, responses, and new ways forward.

So that the next time there is a public health emergency, our response will meet the high standards the American people expect, deserve and pay for.

It is not McCarthism.

It is not Stalin-esque.

And it is not a witch hunt.

As you, Dr. Morens, and Dr. Daszak have so eloquently labeled it before.

It is seeking truth, justice, the American way.

While conducting this investigation, the Select Subcommittee uncovered extremely concerning behavior by Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Senior Scientific Advisor, and the witness before us today, Dr. David Morens.

Accordingly, on April 16, 2024, the Select Subcommittee announced a subpoena for Dr. Morens for documents related to the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically those found on his personal e-mail accounts which he had been using to communicate with other NIH officials and EcoHealth President, Dr. Peter Daszak.

Government officials hiding from “We the people” is not the American way.

The Select Subcommittee proceeded to conduct an extensive review of the communications and documents produced under subpoena by Dr. Morens.

The information contained in these 30,000 pages of emails are deeply concerning and reflects poorly upon Dr. Morens, and the office of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease under Dr. Fauci’s leadership and the NIH under Dr. Francis Collins.

Today, we released a staff memo outlining the evidence gathered.

We have evidence that Dr. Morens purposefully evaded public transparency required by the Freedom of Information Act by intentionally using a personal email account for official business.

We have evidence that Dr. Morens unlawfully deleted government records and may have engaged with the NIH FOIA office to assist this illegal action.

We have evidence that Dr. Morens routinely acted as an intermediary between Dr. Daszak and Dr. Fauci.

And we have evidence that Dr. Morens took affirmative steps to assist Dr. Daszak so that EcoHealth could have its grant reinstated after it was suspended under the Trump Administration.

Dr. Morens, it unfortunately looks like you were not truthful in your interview with us. 

During that interview, you may not have been under oath.

However, you were reminded by Select Subcommittee counsel that your answers were subject to criminal prosecution pursuant to Title 18 Section 1001 of the United States Code.

In other words, lying in that interview before us would be a crime.

When asked if you understood that requirement, you said you did.

Today, we may be able to find out where the truth lies. Is it in your testimony or is it in your emails?

We recently had the President of EcoHealth Alliance Dr. Peter Daszak before the Select Subcommittee for a hearing. And we produced an extensive report outlining the wrongdoing and bad faith actions taken by EcoHealth and its President.

Just two weeks after these investigative measures took place, NIH recommended that EcoHealth be immediately debarred from receiving federal dollars.

Dr. Morens provided nonpublic government information to Dr. Daszak, including internal deliberations and communications about EcoHealth occurring at the highest levels of NIH.

But this was not just a one-way street.

We also found that Dr. Morens disseminated information from EcoHealth, on behalf of EcoHealth, to top NIH officials.

In fact, we even uncovered an e-mail from Dr. Morens to Dr. Daszak asking if he would “get a kickback” after the EcoHealth grant was reinstated.

After the funding to EcoHealth was paused in 2020, Dr. Morens advocated for them to have their federal funding reinstated, assisted EcoHealth in receiving that funding, provided EcoHealth with non-public information in order to help get that funding reinstated, and then requested a kickback.

Joking about the kickback or not – the entire process is wholly unacceptable.

I wish that was the full extent of it, but it is not.

Frankly, some of the documents we received from Dr. Morens were difficult to read. I can’t imagine saying some of these things, let alone putting them in writing. 

The Select Subcommittee uncovered communications in which Dr. Morens acted inappropriately and entirely unsuitably for a member of the Public Health Service who receives a taxpayer funded paycheck.

These are just some of the unfortunate and unprofessional findings the Select Subcommittee has made during our investigation.

It is very disturbing to witness this type of behavior from Dr. Fauci’s Senior Advisor, but the evidence is clear and overwhelming.

Dr. Fauci’s NIAID was unfortunately less pristine than so many, including the media would’ve had us all believe.

You, Dr. Morens, reported directly to Dr. Fauci.

You served as his Senior Advisor for more than two decades.

Did your boss know about this behavior? Did he condone it? Did he try to stop it? Did he participate in it? That we don’t know.

Given the breadth of this investigation, we continue our work to ensure that we thoroughly review each document produced.

No stone will be left unturned.

Put simply: Dr. Morens, you have a lot to answer for.

The American people that we represent, deserve honest answers.

We all do.

Today, I hope we can further our quest for information into the government’s response to COVID-19, and provide the American people with honest answers about the actions taken by personnel at the National Institutes of Health during this time, especially at the leadership levels.

Dr. Morens, you will be sworn in today. Your answers will be under oath.

I strongly suggest you tell the truth.

I will remind you that you are testifying today under a subpoena. The terms of the subpoena require you stay until the Chair excuses you.

I look forward to a robust and on-topic discussion. Thank you.