Former employees at Twitter had an internal messaging channel titled the “Fauci Fan Club,” according to the social media platform’s new boss, Elon Musk.
The tech magnate revealed his discovery in a Twitter thread late Tuesday night in which Mr. Musk castigated the White House’s former COVID-19 advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Mr. Musk accused Dr. Fauci of being dishonest about his role in gain-of-function research, a type of laboratory manipulation that is thought to have helped develop the novel coronavirus and make it more potent to humans.
“Despite these glaring issues, Twitter nonetheless had an internal Slack channel unironically called ‘Fauci Fan Club,’” the Twitter CEO wrote.
In his thread, Mr. Musk linked to a Newsweek article from September 2021 that criticized Dr. Fauci for being untruthful about gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
That criticism was levied in response to documents obtained by The Intercept that showed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — the agency which Dr. Fauci led — provided funds for “gain-of-function research of concern.”
Those funds were given to EcoHealth Alliance, a nongovernmental organization, which then carried out the research in China, per The Intercept report. The National Institutes of Health, which oversees the NIAID, denied that its funds went toward developing potentially dangerous viruses.
Dr. Fauci has said neither he nor the director of NIH lied or misled anyone.
Mr. Musk also claimed that “gain-of-function” was a euphemism for “bioweapon,” and linked to another article that said Dr. Fauci has been a supporter of gain-of-function research since at least 2012.
• Matt Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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