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Cruz: ‘Let me say to the NRA – welcome to Texas’

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GOP current lawmakers and former officials welcomed the National Rifle Association (NRA) to Texas in a Twitter video posted Thursday.

The NRA announced they will be leaving New York and relocating to Texas to make for the most “successful and powerful NRA ever.”

“Let me say to the NRA – welcome to Texas,” Sen. Ted Cruz said. “We are thrilled to have the great National Rifle Association coming to the great state of Texas.”

“NRA incorporating itself in Texas will make it the most successful NRA organization we have ever seen,” added Rep. Burgess Owens.

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit in August seeking to dissolve the NRA claiming decades of fraudulent use of the group’s funds.

“She called the organization a terrorist organization,” Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson said. “She all but said she would find a way to get rid of the organization and purge them from New York.”

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said the move will help the organization be “free from the toxic political environment of New York.”

LaPierre denied any reports that may suggest the NRA is bankrupt or going out of business.

“The media wants you to abandon hope,” Cruz said. “The media wants you to give up. The media is trying to tell you that the NRA is dead, that it’s bankrupt, that it’s hurting. And you know why they want you to believe that? Because that’s what the media wants. I’m here to tell you it isn’t true.”

“The NRA’s been around for 150 years,” Rep. Jim Jordan said. “It’s not going anywhere. It’s going to be as strong as ever.

“To the NRA I’m proud to say – welcome to Texas,” Cruz concluded the video.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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COVID-19

Adviser to Fauci bragged about helping him evade FOIA, ‘he is too smart’ to get caught

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The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic published evidence ahead of a hearing that explains the senior scientific adviser to then-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci actually bragged about helping Fauci evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The adviser, David Morens, admitted in his own communications to intentionally evading FOIA by using a Fauci’s private Gmail address or just handing him documents in person, according to the newly disclosed emails.

The 35-page report on Morens includes previously unreleased emails including:

An April 21, 2021 email shows Morens contacted EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak, whom Morens has described as his “best friend” and a U.S. taxpayer conduit for the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as well as Boston University and New England Biolabs researchers.

The subject line references “CoV research in China, GoF, etc.,” referring to EcoHealth-facilitated coronavirus research at WIV that could make a virus more transmissible or dangerous. The National Institutes of Health recently admitted it funded gain-of-function research under that definition but not a stricter regulatory definition.

“PS, i forgot to say there is no worry about FOIAs,” Morens wrote. “I can either send stuff to Tony on his private gmail, or hand it to him at work or at his house. He is too smart to let colleagues send him stuff that could cause trouble.”

A May 13, 2021 email to the same recipients referred to “our ‘secret’ back channel” by which Morens connected Fauci to a journalist named “Arthur,” apparently to discuss the feds’ preferred narrative that SARS-CoV-2 emerged naturally rather than via lab leak. The email cited an article on the message board Virological.

Gerald Keusch, associate director of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory Institute at BU, emailed Daszak Oct. 25, 2021 to relay a phone conversation with “David,” who is “concerned about the privacy of text” and email sent and received on his “government phone” because they “could be FOIA’able.”

“Tony has told him not to be in touch with you and EHA for the time being,” Keusch wrote. Morens relayed that Daszak should get his story straight on EcoHealth’s claim that NIH locked it out of the system when it tried to file its year-five progress report that disclosed an arguable gain-of-function experiment.

Earlier in the day, Morens told Daszak “i will be meeting with Tony about this later on.” The subject line of the thread was “Draft response to Michael Lauer,” deputy director for extramural research at NIH.

Morens also told Daszak that Fauci and then-NIH Director Francis Collins are “trying to protect you, which also protects their own reputations,” apparently meaning against allegations that U.S. tax dollars passed through EcoHealth funded research that may have led to SARS-CoV-2’s emergence.

The subcommittee said it found emails that revealed “likely illegal” practices, including an April 2020 email in which Morens shared a “new NIAID implementation plan” with Daszak and an August 2020 email in which Daszak mentioned a “kick-back” to Morens after NIH awarded $7.5 million to EcoHealth.

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