May 04, 2020
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation against the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) for communications and other records of National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci and Deputy Director H. Clifford Lane with and about the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning the novel coronavirus (Daily Caller News Foundation v. U.S. Department Justice (No. 1:20-cv-01149)).
The suit was filed after HHS failed to respond to an April 1, 2020, FOIA request seeking:
- Communications between Dr. Fauci and Deputy Director Lane and World Health Organization officials concerning the novel coronavirus.
- Communications of Dr. Fauci and Deputy Director Lane concerning WHO, WHO official Bruce Aylward, WHO Director General Tedros Anhanom, and China.
The time period for the request is January 1, 2020 to April 1, 2020.
Additionally, the DCNF requested and was granted expedited processing of its request.
In March 2020, Fauci praised the work of the WHO and their chairman, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying: “Tedros is really an outstanding person … I mean, obviously, over the years anyone who says that the WHO has not had problems has not been watching the WHO. But I think under his leadership they’ve done very well.”
In April, President Trump announced a halt to funding the World Health Organization. According to the president, the WHO put “political correctness over lifesaving measures.” Additionally, President Trump said: “The WHO failed in this duty, and must be held accountable,” adding that the WHO ignored “credible information” in December 2019 that the virus could be transmitted from human to human.
Daily Caller News Foundation Co-Founder and President Neil Patel said: “This virus has killed hundreds of thousands of people and turned the whole world upside down. We know that China and WHO could have done a lot more to prevent or reduce this catastrophe. We therefore have a legitimate and urgent news purpose for seeking these documents regarding U.S. officials’ communications with WHO and demand that the agencies in question stop stalling and start following the law that entitles us to this vital information.”
“It is urgent that the NIH follow transparency law during the coronavirus crisis,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is of significant public interest to learn what WHO was telling our top medical officials about the coronavirus that originated in China.”