15:24 GMT21 June 2021
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    A book by Dr Anthony Fauci entitled Expect the Unexpected: Ten Lessons on Truth, Service, and the Way Forward, has been pulled by bookshops and Amazon. Withdrawal of the book, which was due to be published in November, appears to be linked to hundreds of emails which have emerged.

    Earlier this week BuzzFeed News and the Washington Post together published more than 4,000 pages of emails from and to Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the man in charge of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

    Both the Washington Post and Buzzfeed have a history of supporting Democrat presidents and was heavily critical of the Trump administration.

    The emails, which date from between January and June 2020, have been seized on by the Democrats and their allies in the media to try and blame the 80-year-old and also tarnish the reputation of the Trump administration.

    U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the South Court Auditorium of the White House June 2, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden spoke on the COVID-19 response and the vaccination program announcing new incentives including free beer, free childcare and free sports tickets to push Americans to get vaccinated before July 4th.
    © AFP 2021 / ALEX WONG
    US President Joe Biden speaks during a White House event on 2 June 2021.

    But the enduring message from reading the emails is simply what an enormous task Fauci had amid a vacuum of solid information, especially in March 2020 when the pandemic first hit the US.

    Politicians from Britain to Brazil were struggling to get a handle on the pandemic in the spring of 2020.

    The United States has seen 34 million cases and 611,000 deaths - the most in the world - and many people have criticised the Trump administration for its unwillingness to impose a lockdown or mandatory mask-wearing when the virus first arrived in America.

    In the trove of emails Fauci discussed masks and different drugs that could possibly be used to treat COVID, including the hydroxychloroquine that was promoted by the former US president, Donald Trump, and received mixed reaction.

    In one of them Dr Fauci also doubted that masks really work against COVID-19.

    Fauci has not reacted to the disappearance of his book from online bookstores but he has said the content of some of the emails had been taken "out of context".

    During the pandemic, Fauci emerged as a high-profile public figure, enjoying significant support and trust of the population.

    U.S. President Donald Trump departs after addressing the coronavirus task force daily briefing as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stands by at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 26, 2020.
    JONATHAN ERNST
    U.S. President Donald Trump departs after addressing the coronavirus task force daily briefing as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stands by at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 26, 2020.

    So why is he being pilloried now?

    Is it to distract attention away from the lacklustre early days of the Biden administration, which have been littered with failures and inaction?

    When Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd in April, President Biden promised to push through police reforms.

    But on 25 May the Biden administration had to admit defeat after the Justice in Policing Act failed to make it through Congress.

    Biden has managed to push through a US$1.9 trillion stimulus bill but critics point out that only nine percent of the spending will go on fighting COVID-19, only one percent on vaccines and 0.3 percent on schools. 

    The U.S. Border Patrol vehicles approach to asylum-seeking migrants' families who walk towards the border wall after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico, in Penitas, Texas, U.S., March 26, 2021
    © REUTERS / Go Nakamura
    The U.S. Border Patrol vehicles approach to asylum-seeking migrants' families who walk towards the border wall after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico, in Penitas, Texas, U.S., March 26, 2021

    Then there’s the migrant crisis.

    Friday, 3 June, marks the 73rd day since Vice President Kamala Harris was tasked by Biden with solving the migrant crisis.

    She has not so far visited the US-Mexico border or met with anyone from communities in California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico who find themselves overrun by immigrants.

    In March 2021 there were 172,000 apprehensions of illegal immigrants on the border, up five times since March 2020 with many migrants saying they have been encouraged to make the crossing by Biden’s softened stance on migration.  

    Migrants have travelled from as far away as India and Romania to try to sneak in over the Mexican border.

    Next week Harris is due to visit Mexico and Guatemala on a fact-finding mission.

    Workers are seen next to a cage with mice (R) inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan, capital of China's Hubei province, on February 23, 2017
    © AFP 2021 / JOHANNES EISELE
    Workers are seen next to a cage with mice (R) inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan, capital of China's Hubei province, on February 23, 2017

    The Fauci emails could also be a deliberate attempt to discredit him as the search goes on for the definitive cause of COVID-19.

    On Friday, 4 June, Fauci urged China to release the medical records of nine people who fell sick with a coronavirus-like illness in 2012 and 2019.

    Fauci told the Financial Times: "I would like to see the medical records of the three people who are reported to have got sick in 2019. Did they really get sick, and if so, what did they get sick with?”

    The suggestion the virus leaked from a Chinese laboratory has gained currency in recent weeks amid reports six miners fell ill in 2012 and three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick in 2019 after visiting a bat cave in Yunnan.

    Last month Biden ordered the CIA to produce a report in 90 days to put an end to the debate over whether the coronavirus spread to humans from animals naturally or if it leaked from a laboratory in China, and promised to release the report in full.

    Two leading Republican Congressmen demanded this week that Fauci testify on the source of COVID-19.

    Tags:
    Joe Biden, Donald Trump, COVID-19, coronavirus, Anthony Fauci
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