Judicial Watch: New Emails Detail WHO/NIH Accommodations to Chinese Confidentiality ‘Terms’
Updated 4:32 p.m.
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch announced today that it and the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) received 301 pages of emails and other records of Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. H. Clifford Lane from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showing that National Institutes of Health (NIH) officials tailored confidentiality forms to China’s terms and that the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted an unreleased, “strictly confidential” COVID-19 epidemiological analysis in January 2020.
Additionally, the emails reveal an independent journalist in China pointing out the inconsistent COVID numbers in China to NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Deputy Director for Clinical Research and Special Projects Cliff Lane.
The emails were obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Judicial Watch on behalf of the DCNF (Daily Caller News Foundation v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:20-cv-01149)).
The lawsuit was filed after HHS failed to respond to the DCNF’s April 1, 2020, FOIA request seeking:
- Communications between Dr. Fauci and Deputy Director Lane and World Health Organization officials concerning the novel coronavirus.
- Communications of Dr. Fauci and Deputy Director Lane concerning WHO, WHO official Bruce Aylward, WHO Director General Tedros Anhanom, and China.
The new emails include a conversation about confidentiality forms on February 14-15, 2020, between Lane and WHO Technical Officer Mansuk Daniel Han. Han writes: “The forms this time are tailored to China’s terms so we cannot use the ones from before.”
A WHO briefing package sent on February 13, 2020, to NIH officials traveling to China as part of the COVID response ask that the officials wait to share information until they have an agreement with China: “IMPORTANT: Please treat this as sensitive and not for public communications until we have agreed communications with China.”
In an email dated January 20, 2020, a WHO official discusses the epidemiological analysis they conducted of COVID-19 earlier that month and states that it is “strictly confidential,” is “only for,” the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Infection Hazards (STAG-IH), and “should not be further disseminated.”
In an email dated March 4, 2020, from Chinese journalist Zeng Jia to Lane, a reporter for Caixin Media, points out to Fauci deputy Cliff Lane that the number of cases reported in the WHO Joint China Mission’s report are inconsistent with the number the Wuhan Public Health Committee:
It says on Page 6 [in the WHO report] that there was at least one clinically diagnosed case of coronavirus on December 2th, 2019, in Wuhan; and from Jan 11th to 17th there were new clinically diagnosed and confirmed cases every day in Wuhan, which is not consistent with Wuhan Public Health Committee’s numbers.
In an email dated February 15, 2020, Gauden Galea, head of the WHO office in China, informs the joint mission members traveling to China that all of their activities in China would be arranged by the Chinese Government’s National Health Commission.
“These emails set the tone early on in the coronavirus outbreak. It’s clear that the WHO allowed China to control the information flow from the start. True transparency is crucial,” said Ethan Barton, editor-in chief for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“These new emails show WHO and Fauci’s NIH special accommodations to Chinese communist efforts to control information about COVID-19,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
This is the latest information obtained in Judicial Watch and the DCNF’s ongoing investigation into Fauci’s and NIH’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Judicial Watch and the DCNF previously uncovered emails showing a WHO entity pushing for a press release, approved by Dr. Fauci, “especially” supporting China’s COVID-19 response.
On September 22, U.S. District Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich ordered HHS to begin processing responsive records. In a September 21 court filing, HHS said the agency could begin producing 300 pages of responsive records to the DCNF beginning on November 30, eight months after receiving the Daily Caller’s FOIA request. The total number of responsive records is approximately 4,200, which would have pushed off the full release of the records until at least 2022. HHS also alleged that Fauci must personally review each one of his emails before they are released.