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A top adviser at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. David Morens, is accused of deleting critical records related to the origins of COVID-19 and using a secret back channel to help Dr. Anthony Fauci and a federal grantee avoid transparency. Morens conducted official business using his private email account and attempted to evade records requests, according to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. He admitted in emails that he had learned how to make emails disappear after being requested through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and had deleted previous emails after sending them to gmail.

The memo by the subcommittee suggests that Fauci and Morens were involved in a conspiracy to hide and potentially destroy official records regarding the origins of COVID-19. Morens’ emails reveal his efforts to ensure that potentially damaging information was not easily accessible through FOIA requests. He discussed avoiding having “smoking guns” and deleting emails that could cause trouble. The emails also suggest that Fauci had been concerned about the situation involving the Wuhan grant but was careful not to create evidence that could be used against him.

Morens may have received a kickback for assisting EcoHealth Alliance, which funded gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses in Wuhan. Emails between Morens and EcoHealth Alliance president Dr. Peter Daszak revealed privileged information about the status of the NIH grant project that conducted risky experiments on SARS-like viruses. The experiments made the viruses 10,000 times more infectious in violation of the grant’s terms. The experiments were confirmed by NIH principal deputy director Lawrence Tabak in congressional testimony.

Despite the denial that the gain-of-function research led to the creation of SARS-CoV-2, EcoHealth’s grant proposals have raised concerns due to their similarity to COVID-19. Daszak has downplayed the role of Chinese researchers and the lab-leak theory of COVID-19’s origins. Other officials, including the FBI, Energy Department, and former CDC Director Robert Redfield, support the lab-leak theory. Morens and Daszak mocked proponents of the theory as conspiracy theorists, dismissing their claims in email correspondence.

Additional emails show Morens making misogynistic remarks and discussing his drinking habits. In an email to Daszak, he made inappropriate comments about wanting a blonde nymphomaniac to deliver his beverage. He and Daszak also mocked Sen. Rand Paul in their correspondence. Morens has provided thousands of pages of emails and documents to the subcommittee in response to subpoenas but may have provided false testimony. He is scheduled to testify about his actions related to the back-channel communications about COVID-19.

Former grant fraud investigator Diane Cutler has stated that Morens’ actions may have violated ethical standards and potentially criminal law. The NIH has not yet commented on the situation. The revelations from the subcommittee’s memo shed light on the efforts made by Morens and others to conceal information related to the origins of COVID-19 and their involvement with gain-of-function research projects in Wuhan. The testimony and documentation provided are likely to have far-reaching implications for the individuals and organizations involved.

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