NBC Fears Fauci ‘Under Fire From Conservatives’ After ‘Out of Context’ Emails

While NBC’s Today show on Friday finally discovered the controversy swirling around Dr. Anthony Fauci’s emails from the early days of the pandemic in which he and his colleagues dismissed the possibility of COVID-19 leaking from a Wuhan lab in China, the broadcast touted his defense that the exchanges were “ripe for being taken out of context.” The network worried that Fauci was “under fire from conservatives” as a result.

Watching the tease at the top of the show, viewers might have expected a report hammering Fauci, as co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “Under Fire. Dr. Anthony Fauci facing new scrutiny as his e-mails from the early days of the pandemic go public. What they reveal about his handling of the investigation into the origins of the virus, and how he and the White House are responding.”

However, minutes later, senior Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson made it clear the network coverage would run defense for the doctor: “The nation’s top infectious diseases doctor now facing fire from some Republicans and defending the broader context of those e-mails, newly released, from more than a year ago. Fauci says these messages are ripe for being taken out of context…” Notice that he was exclusively “facing fire from some Republicans,” suggesting the criticism was just politically motivated.

Jackson did at least briefly summarize some of the most damning emails:

Including one sent by Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the NIH. It’s subject line, “conspiracy gains momentum,” linking to a story on a Fox News report suggesting COVID-19 leaked from a lab in Wuhan. Fauci’s response blacked out….The e-mails also show the founder of an institute, Ecohealth Alliance, with ties to the lab, thanking Fauci for supporting the theory that COVID naturally developed. Some NIH funds aimed at collecting samples went to the Wuhan lab via Ecohealth.

Though she soon returned to painting Fauci as the victim of “conservative” attacks: “Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases, now under fire from conservatives who suggest he didn’t do enough to investigate where the virus originated.”

Wrapping up the segment, Jackson even pointed to one email showing a Chinese scientist sympathizing with Fauci about his “crazy” critics:

During the pandemic, remember, Fauci faced fire from some of the former President’s supporters because Fauci backed pandemic precautions. And to give you a sense of what else these e-mails show, when a Chinese scientist wrote to Fauci to check in on him, quote, “being attacked,” the Doctor responded: “All is well, despite some crazy people in this world.”

Ironically, the coverage of Fauci’s failings came just one day after Jackson issued another report for the NBC morning show in which she warned of a “dangerous” effort by several states to rein in emergency powers granted to government and public health officials during the pandemic: “You know, this is really that push-pull between on the one hand, more checks and balances against what some see as overreach, and on the other hand, letting public health officials do what they need to do, even if it’s not popular, to keep people safe in whatever crisis could come next.”

She further sounded the alarm that “experts” needed to be in charge during future crises:

A new report from a coalition of public health officials finds more than a dozen states have introduced or passed bills that would limit the power of state leaders, like the governor or health departments, when it comes to certain safety measures in a crisis like a pandemic….That makes Bob Suitor nervous. He owns Wolf’s Ridge Brewing in Columbus, and even though his business almost went under, he wants experts, not politicians looking at science to stay safe.

Amazingly, she didn’t manage to find any other small business owners devastated by draconian lockdowns who supported the legislation.

Turning to Republican Ohio State Senator Rob McColley, a co-sponsor one such bill, Jackson accused: “There are critics of laws like this who say that you are tying the hands of public health officials were a pandemic like this to happen again.” McColley hit back: “I think that that is a gross mischaracterization of what we’re doing….This was aimed at putting in place checks and balances in response to an unprecedented set of circumstances and an unprecedented use of executive power at the state level.”

Jackson concluded: “That group of state and local public health officials is trying to draw more attention to what’s happening in these state houses, arguing that these laws are not just demoralizing to health officials, but dangerous.”

According to NBC, holding powerful public health officials like Fauci accountable for their faulty judgment is “dangerous” and should be promptly dismissed as partisan politics from “conservatives.”

This pair of slanted reports was brought to viewers by Comcast and StateFarm. You can fight back by letting these advertisers know what you think of them sponsoring such content.

Here is a full transcript of Jackson’s June 4 report on Fauci’s emails:

7:13 AM ET

HODA KOTB: Now to some mixed milestones when it comes to the coronavirus. Craig’s here with that.

CRAIG MELVIN: Hey, Hoda, Savannah, good morning. Good morning to you as well. The United States has now surpassed 600,000 COVID deaths while at the same time cases have now dropped to the lowest level in 14 months.

Meanwhile, the face of the U.S. response, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is facing scrutiny this morning, following the release of thousands of his e-mails from the early days of the pandemic. NBC senior Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson has that story. Hallie, good morning.

HALLIE JACKSON: Hey, Craig, good morning. The nation’s top infectious diseases doctor now facing fire from some Republicans and defending the broader context of those e-mails, newly released, from more than a year ago. Fauci says these messages are ripe for being taken out of context, as they give a glimpse into what it was like for him when the pandemic was just beginning.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: White House Responds as Fauci Under Fire]

The American public this morning getting a rare look into how its highest level leaders operated in the pandemic’s early days. And now, the focus on Dr. Anthony Fauci’s view on where the virus started. That’s after several news organizations obtained thousands of pages of Fauci’s e-mails under the Freedom of Information Act from the first months of 2020. Including one sent by Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the NIH. It’s subject line, “conspiracy gains momentum,” linking to a story on a Fox News report suggesting COVID-19 leaked from a lab in Wuhan. Fauci’s response blacked out.

Many dismissed the idea of a lab leak in 2020, but it’s now gaining momentum after a U.S. intelligence report that three researchers at that lab got sick weeks before China confirmed its first case. The e-mails also show the founder of an institute, Ecohealth Alliance, with ties to the lab, thanking Fauci for supporting the theory that COVID naturally developed. Some NIH funds aimed at collecting samples went to the Wuhan lab via Ecohealth. The Wall Street Journal writing in an editorial this morning, “It’s reasonable to ask why Dr. Fauci was slow to accept the possibility of a lab leak.”

WILLIE GEIST [MORNING JOE]: Did you agree at that time, in April of 2020, that the lab leak theory was a conspiracy theory?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: No, not necessarily at all. The situation is that we didn’t know and we still don’t know what the origin is.

JACKSON: Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases, now under fire from conservatives who suggest he didn’t do enough to investigate where the virus originated.

REP. STEVE SCALISE [R-LA]: We need to get to the bottom of this, Dr. Fauci needs to be brought in under oath to answer questions about this.  

JACKSON: But Fauci points out the NIH is not responsible for such an investigation. During the pandemic, remember, Fauci faced fire from some of the former President’s supporters because Fauci backed pandemic precautions. And to give you a sense of what else these e-mails show, when a Chinese scientist wrote to Fauci to check in on him, quote, “being attacked,” the Doctor responded: “All is well, despite some crazy people in this world.” Craig?

MELVIN: Our senior Washington correspondent, Hallie Jackson there for us. Hallie, thank you.

Here is a full transcript of Jackson’s June 3 report on state bills curbing emergency powers:

8:03 AM ET

HODA KOTB: Now to a battle erupting across the country that grew out of the response to the COVID pandemic. At least 14 states have now passed or introduced bills to limit the power of local leaders and health officials in the event of future health crises. NBC’s senior Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson joins us with this. Hey, Hallie, good morning.

HALLIE JACKSON: Hi, Hoda, good morning. You know, this is really that push-pull between on the one hand, more checks and balances against what some see as overreach, and on the other hand, letting public health officials do what they need to do, even if it’s not popular, to keep people safe in whatever crisis could come next.         

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: States Move to Limit Powers in Health Crises]

PROTESTERS: No more tyranny!

JACKSON: In state after state, crowds protesting pandemic precautions this past year.

PROTESTERS: Freedom! Now!  

JACKSON: And now, state after state apparently turning that anger into action. A new report from a coalition of public health officials finds more than a dozen states have introduced or passed bills that would limit the power of state leaders, like the governor or health departments, when it comes to certain safety measures in a crisis like a pandemic. North Dakota, banning mask mandates. Kansas, blocking the governor from shutting down schools. Ohio, giving its legislature the ability to overturn any order issued by the governor or state health department in a public health emergency.

That makes Bob Suitor nervous. He owns Wolf’s Ridge Brewing in Columbus, and even though his business almost went under, he wants experts, not politicians looking at science to stay safe.

BOB SZUTER [OWNER, WOLF’S RIDGE BREWING]: I think that it’s going to make us less safe as a country.

JACKSON: But these law’s supporters say they’re about preventing overreach and overreaction.

There are critics of laws like this who say that you are tying the hands of public health officials were a pandemic like this to happen again.

STATE SENATOR ROB MCCOLLEY [R-OH]: I think that that is a gross mischaracterization of what we’re doing.

JACKSON: State Senator Rob McColley helped sponsor that Ohio bill.

MCCOLLEY: This was aimed at putting in place checks and balances in response to an unprecedented set of circumstances and an unprecedented use of executive power at the state level.

JACKSON: That group of state and local public health officials is trying to draw more attention to what’s happening in these state houses, arguing that these laws are not just demoralizing to health officials, but dangerous. It goes to show that even with the pandemic starting to maybe get close to an end here, the political fight is certainly not over. Hoda?  

KOTB: Yeah, good point. Alright, Hallie Jackson for us. Hallie, thank you.

View Original Source Source