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Judicial Watch: Records Reveal Fauci Emails about Hydroxychloroquine and COVID

(Washington, DC)Judicial Watch announced today that it received 199 pages of records from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that include emails between National Institutes of Health (NIH) then-Director Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci about hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19.

Judicial Watch obtained the records as the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for Collins’ emails (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-02302)). This lawsuit was filed after the Department of Health and Human Services failed to respond to a June 8, 2021, FOIA request for: 

All emails sent to and from Director Francis Collins related to “gain of function”, “hydroxychloroquine”, “HCQ”, and/or “Wuhan Institute of Virology”

In a June 19, 2020, email current acting Director of the NIH Lawrence Tabak writes to NIH then-Director Francis Collins about an NIH-sponsored randomized control trial of the effectiveness of using hydroxychloroquine to treat patients hospitalized with COVID-19

Based on the recommendations from the DSMB [Data and Safety Monitoring Board of NIH] that met late today, NHLBI [National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute] is stopping … the randomized controlled trial comparing hydroxychloroquine vs. placebo/Standard of care in hospitalized patients with confirmed SARS-CoV2 infection. This was a scheduled interim analysis – actually the 4th in a series – looking at both safety and outcomes data. Bottom line: There was no harm signal. [Emphasis in original] However, based on the conditional power analysis there is less than a 1% probability that HCQ would prove more effective than standard of care even if we enrolled twice the number of patients. Therefore, we are concurring with the DSMB’s recommendation and stopping the trial in accordance with standard trial monitoring and oversight practices. The trial was almost completed (475 patients enrolled out of 510 target); however, based on these results there is no need to continue the study.

Collins replies on June 20, 2020, and copies Dr. Fauci: “Well, that fits with the outcome of the RECOVERY trial. [Emphasis in original] I hope NHLBI will quickly publish the results. Looping in Tony.”

Fauci responds the same day: “Thanks. Not unexpected, but good to have [t]o have solid evidence behind our recommendations. We now need results of the trials for prophylaxis.”

In May 2020, Nakela Cook authored an NIH report called, “Update on COVID-19 Initiatives and Request for Additional Funding.” According to Cook, a unit of NIH called the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) launched a large trial to study the effect on the use of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a prophylactic treatment in healthcare workers (HCWs) against COVID-19. The study was called the “HERO [Healthcare Worker Exposure Response and Outcomes]-HCQ Trial.”

Cook claims that the study’s creators wanted to, “Create a community of healthcare workers (HCWs) who may be at risk of COVID-19 infection.” And then, “randomize 15,000 at-risk HCWs into a randomized clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to prevent COVID-19 clinical infection in HCWs.”

According to Cook, secondary goals of the scientists include, “To evaluate the efficacy of HCQ to prevent viral shedding of SARS-CoV-2 among HCWs.” And “Evaluate safety and tolerability of HCQ.”

The records include a June 26, 2020, letter from a group of Democrat congressmen to then-HHS Secretary Alex Azar. The representatives write:

We write with strong concerns surrounding the Administration’s termination of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to EcoHealth Alliance on April 24, 2020.  In the letter communicating the grant’s termination, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, Dr. Michael Lauer, wrote that “At this time, NIH does not believe the current project outcomes align with the program goals and agency priorities.”  However, press reports indicate that the grant was canceled because a small portion of the funding was to be given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for on-the-ground sample collection and analysis.  Given the potential for this study to inform our knowledge of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission, it is deeply concerning that it may have been canceled for political reasons in the midst of the current pandemic.

In a heavily redacted July 21, 2020, email exchange with the subject line “EcoHealth [EcoHealth Alliance] oversight response” Adrienne Hallett writes: “We are going to draft a response to the letter [redacted]. Mike [Lauer], can you help with the draft?”

Collins responds, “Sounds like a plan. [Redacted].”

Hallett’s response is completely redacted, then Lauer replies, “Thanks so much Adrienne! I’ll draft something today.”

 “Fauci’s agency is slow-rolling the release of documents about COVID, Wuhan, and gain-of-function research,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “At this rate, Fauci will be long retired before we get even a partial accounting for its activities.”

In August 2021, Judicial Watch uncovered records from HHS through a FOIA lawsuit that included an “urgent for Dr. Fauci” email chain which cites ties between the Wuhan lab and the taxpayer-funded EcoHealth Alliance. The government emails also reported that the foundation of U.S. billionaire Bill Gates worked closely with the Chinese government to pave the way for Chinese-produced medications to be sold outside China and help “raise China’s voice of governance by placing representatives from China on important international counsels as high level commitment from China.”

In July 2021, Judicial Watch obtained records through a FOIA lawsuit from NIAID officials in connection with the Wuhan Institute of Virology revealing significant collaborations and funding that began in 2014. The records revealed that NIAID gave nine China-related grants to EcoHealth Alliance to research coronavirus emergence in bats and was the NIH’s top issuer of grants to the Wuhan lab itself.

Also in July 2021, Judicial Watch uncovered CDC records through a FOIA lawsuit revealing that Facebook coordinated closely with the CDC to control the COVID narrative and “misinformation” and that over $3.5 million in free advertising has been given to the CDC by social media companies.

In June 2021, Judicial Watch obtained records through a FOIA lawsuit from HHS revealing that from 2014 to 2019, $826,277 was given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for bat coronavirus research by the NIAID.

In March, Judicial Watch publicly released emails and other records obtained through a FOIA lawsuit of Fauci and Dr. H. Clifford Lane from HHS showing that NIH officials tailored confidentiality forms to China’s terms and that the 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 Lane.

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