On Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, addressed the plethora of emails sent and received by senior government epidemiologist Anthony Fauci, which caused outrage from Republicans, including the Republican senator.
According to the emails, Fauci took queries about whether the virus spilled from a lab early in the pandemic before discounting the notion later. BuzzFeed received the emails initially via a Freedom of Information Act request.
"I got to say this e-mail dump that came out makes clear that this is not just being sloppy, it is systematic, and it is systemically an effort to mislead the American people," Cruz told Fox News presenter Maria Bartimoro.
"He [Fauci] wasn't doing it alone," Cruz said, "but he was doing it with much of the U.S. government behind him and with Facebook and Big Tech operating as an extension of the U.S. government in order to silence any views that disagreed, not with the science because he wasn't looking for the science, he was suppressing the science, but rather trying to silence anything that disagreed with the political narrative that was convenient that he was pushing at that moment."
On Facebook and Big Tech
Concerns about Facebook's and other social media companies' COVID-19 content restrictions have come from both sides of the political spectrum. Republicans, including Cruz, have accused platforms of suffocating unfettered debate, including talks on the lab leak allegation. The senator continued that Facebook was "utilizing their monopoly position to censor on behalf of the government" when it came to knowledge about COVID-19 and its origins.
On May 26, Facebook announced that content implying that COVID-19 is man-made or produced will no longer be prohibited.
"In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured from our apps," the Big Tech company stated in its website. "We're continuing to work with health experts to keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge."
The recent revelation was a U-turn for Facebook, which had previously said that it would delete postings alleging the virus was "man-made or manufactured" after talks with prominent health institutions, including the World Health Organization which had so often reportedly "debunked" the allegation.
"These latest breakthroughs have real consequence because it now is clear that Facebook was operating at the direction of and in the direct benefit of the federal government and operating as the government's censor, utilizing their monopoly position to censor on behalf of the government," Cruz asserted.
"A very dangerous admission that is now out there for Facebook," Cruz went on adding that anybody whose speech on the subject was suppressed by Facebook may face legal repercussions.
"If you went out and posted the facts that led a year ago to the very strong likelihood that the COVID virus escaped from a Chinese government lab in Wuhan, China," he said, "if you posted that a year ago and they took it down, I think there's a very good argument you have a cause of action against Facebook."
Cruz pointed out that Facebook would surely try to weasel its way out by saying that it is a private company.
"Well, you know what, when they act at the behest of the government, when they contact [Anthony] Fauci, when they say, 'Should we censor this?' and Fauci says, 'Yes' and they censor it for the federal government and then magically when the government changes its mind, and say, 'Oh, all those facts that were there a year ago, now you're allowed to talk about it,' they stopped censoring it with a flip of a switch, that lays a very strong argument that Facebook is operating as a state agency and that opens very significant legal liability," he maintained.
Cruz also predicted that the Biden administration will not "do anything to hold them [Facebook] to account."