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Gov. Newsom apologizes for attending guideline-breaking party, says it was a ‘bad mistake’

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California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has apologized for attending a 12-person birthday party, which went against his own coronavirus guidelines, after accusations of being a hypocrite.

This is amid surging virus cases in his state and across the rest of the country and new restrictions that have been introduced. According to the San Fransisco Chronicle, the party two weeks ago was for his advisor Jason Kinney.

At a Monday press conference, the governor told reporters in his apology that “We’re all human. We all fall short sometimes.”

In explaining the situation, Newsom said that he was invited to a close friend’s 50th birthday party that occurred at a restaurant in an outdoor setting in Napa County, which he mentioned “was in the ‘orange’ status, relatively loose compared to some other counties.”

When Newsom and his wife arrived later than some of the other guests to the restaurant, however, there were more guests than he had anticipated. “As soon as I sat down at the larger table,” he said “I realized it was a little larger group than I had anticipated.”

The Golden State’s governor then said that staying at that dinner was a “bad mistake” that he should not have made.

“I made a bad mistake,” he said. “Instead of sitting down, I should have stood up and walked back, got in my car, and drove back to my house. Instead I chose to sit there with my wife and a number of other couples that were outside the household.”

“You can quibble about the guidelines, et cetera, et cetera—but the spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted. And I gotta own that,” Newsom continued. “And so I want to apologize to you because I need to preach and practice, not just preach and not practice, and I’ve done my best to do that.”

“We’re all human. We all fall short sometimes,” he added.

In an attempt to clear his name further, the governor of the nation’s most populous state said that since February he and his wife have been out only three times for social occasions, including this most recent time at his friend’s birthday party.

Last week, California surpassed a million new coronavirus cases as the amount of cases in the United States have grown past 10 million, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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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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