Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent an email to Anthony Fauci on March 17, 2020, thanking the long time government employee for his “leadership” during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and offering to use Facebook as a platform to share Fauci’s messages about COVID-19. Fauci saw the value in Zuckerberg’s offer, and said it would be more valuable than television at spreading Fauci’s messaging.
“Tony,” Zuckerberg began. “I wanted to send a note of thanks for your leadership and everything you’re doing to make our country’s response to this outbreak as effective as possible. I also wanted to share a few ideas of ways we could help get your message out, but I understand you’re incredibly busy, so don’t feel a need to reply unless these seem interesting.”
Zuckerberg then revealed that Facebook was in the process of creating “a Coronavirus Information Hub” that will be forced into the Facebook feeds of “200+ million Americans, 2.5 billion people worldwide.” Zuckerberg then made a series of offers to Fauci that would allow him to leverage the power of Facebook to spread his messaging.
Calling this idea a “central part of this hub,” Zuckerberg offered to “include a video from you because people trust and want to hear from experts”. Zuckerberg also revealed that he will be “doing a series of livestreamed Q&As with health experts to try to use my large following on the platform to get authoritative information out” and offered Fauci a guest slot in Zuckerberg’s program. A third offer was completely redacted from the email.
In an email sent to one of his subordinates, Fauci said that he will “write to or call Mark and tell him that I am interested in doing this” and asked his subordinate to find someone to coordinate communication between Fauci’s staff and the Facebook titan. Fauci’s subordinate said that Zuckerberg’s videos “would have the weight and impact of television – really, more so,” and highlighted Zuckerberg’s redacted offer as “an even bigger deal.”
Not the usual catchall b(5) deliberative process here.. but a less common b(4) “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person [that is] privileged or confidential” on Zuck’s offer to Fauci.
Was this the offer to censor wrongthink??? pic.twitter.com/UyoC1WSES8
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) June 2, 2021
In separate emails from early in 2020, Fauci told a former employee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that face masks would not stop COVID-19 from being transmitted, as the virus particles were smaller than the fabric of the masks. Additionally, Fauci claimed that simple social distancing would be enough to stop the spread of COVID-19, and said that a vaccine would not be necessary to beat the virus.