Who is Hugh Auchincloss? Anthony Fauci asked deputy about 'ties' to Covid-19 outbreak in China

Who is Hugh Auchincloss? Anthony Fauci asked deputy about 'ties' to Covid-19 outbreak in China
Anthony Fauci spoke to NIAID Principal Deputy Director Hugh Auchincloss about Covid-19 outbreak in China (Photo by Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images/NIAID)

Bombshell emails from Dr Anthony Fauci's inbox suggest that the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) was worried that his organization might have ties to the Covid-19 outbreak in China.

Social media was flooded with emails recovered from Fauci's inbox after they were obtained by the Washington Post and Buzzfeed News via a Freedom of Information Act. In one email to NIAID Principal Deputy Director Hugh Auchincloss on February 1, 2020, Fauci expressed a sense of urgency and alarm over a research. The subject line was "IMPORTANT" as Fauci attached a 2015 paper from Nature Medicine describing gain-of-function research on coronaviruses that the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology had helped conduct and that numerous scientists had criticized as risky.


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"Hugh, it is essential that we speak this AM," Fauci wrote. "Read this paper... You will have tasks today that must be done," he added, although it is unclear what "tasks" he was referring to. 





Meanwhile, Auchincloss' response also managed to raise some eyebrows. “The paper you sent me says the experiments were performed before the gain of function pause but have since been reviewed and approved by NIH," he wrote. "Not sure what this means since Emily is sure that no Coronavirus work has gone through the P3 framework. She will try to determine if we have any distant ties to this work abroad.”

In March, there was a Nature Medicine article that netizens were circulating as proof that Covid-19 could have come from a lab. However, Nature editors have now been accused of adding an update saying there's no evidence that the virus came from a lab, and that “scientists believe that an animal is the most likely source of the coronavirus.”


According to Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, however, Dr Anthony Fauci has got some answering to do.


Who is Hugh Auchincloss?

As NIAID's principal deputy director, Hugh Auchincloss, MD, is responsible for providing leadership to all NIAID research planning and implementation activities, including "helping to prepare and support a strategic vision for NIAID" as well as "overseeing an extensive portfolio of basic, clinical, and applied research, as well as product development for biodefense, HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, and immune-mediated disorders," per the NIAID website.

Recently, Auchincloss has been focused on spearheading the development of the NIH's strategic plan and chairing the NIAID Research Initiative Committee, which helps develop more efficient approaches to "planning, developing, and approving NIAID initiatives." Auchincloss is currently leading an NIAID initiative to upgrade the Institute’s clinical research infrastructure in order to accommodate clinical research on HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.

Furthermore, Auchincloss is also responsible for reviewing all aspects of HIV/AIDS research policy, including "the evaluation of 'test and treat' strategies, analysis of results of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) clinical trials (including microbicide trials), and coordination of future HIV/AIDS vaccine clinical trials."

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