Elon Musk recently teased that this week’s Twitter Files release would focus on Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in what he referred to as the ‘Fauci Files.’
Musk tweeted, “Hope you’re having a great day 1 2023! One thing’s for sure, it won’t be boring!” In response, a Twitter user said she was “Waiting… …for #FauciFiles.”. “Later this week,” replied Musk.
In what is now known as the “Twitter Files,” Musk tapped journalists to address the plethora of controversies at Twitter, including the censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story leading up to the 2020 presidential election and the social media giant’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump after the incident at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Musk’s most recent Twitter File release focused on how both the Biden and Trump administrations used Twitter to moderate content during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a December 29 tweet, Musk claimed Twitter employees had an internal “Fauci Fan Club” before tweeting that Twitter’s new policy is “to follow the science, which necessarily includes reasoned questioning of science.”
Gad Saad, an evolutionary behavioral scientist, appeared to joke about how scientific experts were treated during the Covid-19 pandemic. “The science is anything that His Eminence Lord Fauci says it is. His Excellency is science.”
Musk responded, “Anyone who says that questioning them is questioning science itself cannot be regarded as a scientist.”
Musk, now the CEO of Twitter, also mocked Fauci, calling him “creepy” following a New York Times report that Fauci’s home office is decorated with fan portraits of himself.
Musk says Twitter employees had a Slack channel touting Fauci
Musk said Twitter employees had a Slack channel called “Fauci Fan Club” for those who supported Dr. Fauci. In addition to his position as the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director, Fauci also served as Biden’s chief medical adviser.
A recent tweet by the Twitter CEO accused Fauci of supporting gain-of-function research, which uses genetically modified organisms to enhance a biological function. This research can make a pathogen’s ability to cause disease more substantial, allowing scientists to understand its ability to start a pandemic and form public health preparation efforts.
Republican senators, including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, have accused the National Institute of Health (NIH) of providing funding for gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a claim Fauci denies.
Although gain-of-function research is commonly performed in organisms and cells like worms and mice, it has become controversial for its work with pathogens, according to the Washington Post. Many scientists have warned that gain-of-function research with pathogens can be dangerous if not conducted with proper safety measures.
Some critics of Fauci have signaled that a grant the NIH awarded to a nongovernmental organization named EcoHealth Alliance was used to study genetic analyses of bat coronaviruses.
While Fauci acknowledged the study in the Wuhan lab, he said it wasn’t designed for research into human-made superviruses using gain-of-function research.
Musk previously called for prosecuting Fauci, tweeting that his pronouns are “Prosecute/Fauci.”