E-mails Show HHS Official Trying to Control Fauci’s Public Message

Emails obtained by POLITICO show Paul Alexander — a senior adviser to Michael Caputo, HHS’s assistant secretary for public affairs — instructing press officers and others at the National Institutes of Health about what Fauci should say during media interviews.

Alexander’s e-mails, some sent this week, often contradict mainstream science in favor of the Trump administration’s political positions on issues ranging from convalescent plasma to school reopenings.

“I continue to have an issue with kids getting tested and repeatedly and even university students in a widespread manner…and I disagree with Dr. Fauci on this. Vehemently,” Alexander wrote in one Aug. 27 email, in response to a press office summary of what Fauci intended to tell a reporter.

On Tuesday, Alexander told Fauci’s press team not to promote mask-wearing by children in an MSNBC interview.

“Can you ensure Dr. Fauci indicates masks are for the teachers in schools. Not for children,” Alexander wrote. “There is no data, none, zero, across the entire world, that shows children especially young children, spread this virus to other children, or to adults or to their teachers. None. And if it did occur, the risk is essentially zero,” he continued — adding without evidence that children take influenza home, but not the coronavirus.

Fauci told Politico that his staff had not instructed him what to say and that he had not seen the e-mails. “No one tells me what I can say and cannot say,” Fauci said. “I speak on scientific evidence.”

See the complete story here at Politico.