WASHINGTON (TND) — An almost 400-page deposition of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the president’s chief medical advisor, was released Monday.
The deposition stems from a lawsuit launched in May by two state attorneys general seeking to uncover if any potential collusion between Fauci, or other members of the Biden administration, and social media companies took place.
READ MORE: "Biden admin colluded with social media companies to censor speech, state AGs say"
According to Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who helped initiate the investigation alongside Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, Fauci said “I don’t recall” 174 times “including when asked about emails that he sent, interviews that he gave, and other important information.”
“Missouri and Louisiana are leading the way in exposing how the federal government and the Biden Administration worked with social media to censor speech. In our deposition with Dr. Fauci, it became clear that when Dr. Fauci speaks, social media censors,” Schmitt said, according to a news release from his office. “I encourage everyone to read the deposition transcript and see exactly how Dr. Fauci operates, and exactly how the COVID tyranny that ruined lives and destroyed businesses was born.”
During the deposition, which was conducted by Missouri Solicitor General John Sauer, Fauci was asked for his thoughts on whether people should be allowed to post opinions on social media.
“You say ‘allowed.’ I don't know what the legal or other First Amendment issues are associated with that. That's not my lane or my area of expertise,” Fauci responded. “As a physician and a scientist and a public health person, I'm very sensitive to the fact that disinformation, including some of the disinformation that we discussed that, for example, has people avoid lifesaving interventions, is dangerous to health.”
“How you – how you counter that I think is open to question,” Fauci continued. “My way of countering false information, and I've been on the record multiple times as saying that, is that my approach is to try to flood the system with the correct information as opposed to interfering with other people’s ability to say what they want to say.”
Earlier this year, a federal judge ordered the Biden administration to turn over communications between federal officials and social media companies.
According to Schmitt and Landry, the documents the Biden administration handed over indicated 45 federal officials at the Department of Homeland Security, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and the Office of the Surgeon General communicated with social media platforms about misinformation and censorship.
Schmitt was recently elected to serve in the U.S. Senate for Missouri. His term will begin in early 2023.