In April 2020, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci help in “facilitating” decisions regarding lockdown measures in the US, shows private emails exchanged between the two.
Zuckerberg’s offer referred to aggregating “anonymized” user reports that would help NIAID decide whether to tighten or loosen lockdown mandates.
The emails, which The National Pulse says it has obtained exclusively, show Zuckerberg willing to put Facebook’s gigantic user data trove at NIAID’s disposal in this “user reports” form, and came a month after the pair started communicating directly – a revelation stemming from another batch of government-redacted emails Zuckerberg and Fauci sent to each other in March 2020.
In the email dated April 8, Zuckerberg explains that he wants to help Fauci and his organization “facilitate” decisions and “prioritize” the right work. He mentions that Facebook already had something called a symptom survey aimed at providing indicators of cases by county, and in this way let the tech giant “inform public health decisions.”
“If there are other aggregate data resources that you think would be helpful, let me know,” the Facebook CEO wrote to Fauci, whom he referred to as “Tony.”
Zuckerberg also expressed willingness to provide more “resources” in order to speed up vaccine development.
In his response, Fauci said, “I will think hard about ways that we may take you up on your offer.”
This is not the only time Zuckerberg and Fauci have communicated privately, although the latter denied that he interacted with the Facebook chief even after other emails surfaced to show them discuss a coronavirus “information” hub being set up on the giant social media site as a means to steer the messaging in the desired direction.
The content of these emails that became public was also redacted, with some interpretations of the missing text suggesting it was Zuckerberg offering to censor particular topics around coronavirus.
Regardless, observers now say that the emails show how powerful private entities, said to have potential to sway public opinion, and the government in the US can effectively collude behind the scenes.
It’s also noteworthy that Zuckerberg – whose foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, reportedly spent millions to prop up Joe Biden’s campaign – is often the target of criticism by liberal media and Democrats as “not doing enough.”