Dr. Anthony Fauci testified last week that his deputy at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Clifford Lane, was ‘very impressed’ with how China was managing the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and said that the country ‘has demonstrated this infection can be controlled, albeit at great cost.’
Fauci was deposed under oath by state GOP attorneys general Eric Schmitt and Jeff Landry as part of their lawsuit against the Biden administration. The two AGs have accused top-ranking government officials of working with Twitter, YouTube and Meta, which owns Facebook, ‘under the guise of combating misinformation’ in order to censor viewpoints on COVID that went against the Biden administration’s position.
According to the transcript of the deposition released on Monday by Schmitt, Fauci said that Lane took note of China’s ‘extreme’ measures to combat the virus. Fauci said he believes that he recommended that Lane travel to China with the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate the virus in February 2020.
‘Dr. Lane was very impressed about how, from a clinical public health standpoint, the Chinese were handling the isolation, the contact tracing, the building of facilities to take care of people, and that’s what I believed he meant when he said [they] were managing this in a very structured, organized way,’ Fauci said.
According to the transcript, Lane, who Fauci described as a ‘very well-known, competent person’ with ‘extensive experience in dealing at the international level with a number of countries,’ reported back from the trip that China learned lessons about controlling the virus that they wanted to share.
‘When we got there, the outbreak was already coming under control in China. The measures they put in place appear to be working. I think that they felt there were lessons learned they wanted to share with the rest of the world,’ Lane said, according to the transcript.
Missouri Solicitor General John Sauer conducted the deposition with Fauci. According to the transcript, Sauer pressed Fauci on a quote from an email from Lane.
‘And he goes on in that last sentence on that page to say, ‘From what I saw in China, we may have to go to as extreme a degree of social distancing to help bring our outbreak under control,’ correct?’
‘Correct,’ Fauci replied.
‘So, he drew the conclusion that there might have to be extreme, in his word, measures to mandate social distancing to bring the outbreak under control, correct?’ Sauer asked.
‘That’s what this is implying, yes,’ Fauci said.
Sauer went on to reference an email from Lane dated Feb. 23, 2020, which, according to the transcript, read, ‘China has demonstrated this infection can be controlled, albeit at great cost.’
‘Did you think that social distancing – I’m talking about this time frame of around Feb. 20 of 2020 – did you think that social distancing would have to include only high-risk individuals or would it apply to society as a whole?’ Sauer asked.
‘When you’re dealing with a respiratory illness that has the potential to kill a lot of people – we’ve lost over 1 million people in this country – in order to have an effective interruption, which would almost certainly be on a temporary basis, but to interrupt this enormous explosion of infections that we were seeing, you would have to involve essentially the entire community,’ Fauci said.