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VIDEO: WH cuts Biden’s video feed after he offers to take questions at virtual event

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On Wednesday at the end of a virtual event with top House Democrats, when President Joe Biden offered to take questions, the video feed cut out.

“I’m happy to take questions, if that’s what I’m supposed to do, Nance. Whatever you want me to do,” said the president, who appeared to be unsure of whether there was a question-and-answer portion of the House Democratic Caucus Virtual Issues Conference.

After a few seconds of Biden waiting, his video feed cuts out and his window displays the White House logo.

It is unclear if this was intentional, unintentional, or some sort of technical mishap.

As The Washington Examiner pointed out, this ending was removed from the video-on-demand version of the event. In the video of Biden’s full remarks on YouTube, the video ends after the president says, “So I want to thank you all. I really mean it from the bottom — I want to thank you. Thank you. Thank you.  Thank you.”

However, in the White House’s official transcript of Biden’s remarks at the event, it includes Biden saying at the end that he was happy to take questions.

The event featured high-ranking House Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Whip Jim Clyburn (S.C.), and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) discussing their legislative agenda in the House of Representatives. Additionally, Vice President Kamala Harris delivered remarks at the virtual event.

Biden’s roughly nine-minute remarks touched on issues ranging from COVID-19 economic relief and his American Rescue Plan to criminal justice reform and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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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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