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US Senate hearing reveals only a little over half of NIH, FDA employees have taken coronavirus vaccine

Testifying before the U.S. Senate, Dr. Anthony Fauci said ‘a little bit more than half, probably around 60 percent’ of employees have taken one of the experimental COVID-19 vaccines. The CDC’s Dr. Rochelle Walesnsky said she doesn’t know how many CDC employees are vaccinated.
Mon May 24, 2021 - 7:19 pm EST
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Anthony Fauci on December 22, 2020 Patrick Semansky-Pool / Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 24, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said during a U.S. Senate hearing that he estimates just under half of employees at the NIH have not taken a COVID-19 vaccine.

Appearing to speak on behalf of the NIAID’s parent agency, the NIH, a short video clip shows Fauci telling Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) during a hearing with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that, while he is “not 100 percent sure,” he believes around only “a little bit more than half, probably around 60 percent” of staff at the NIH have elected to receive one of the experimental vaccines against COVID-19.

Burr had asked Fauci, a representative of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “what percentage of the employees in your institute, your center, your agency...has been vaccinated?”

Dr. Peter Marks, Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the FDA, also present at the hearing, related a similar figure for staff in his agency. The FDA is responsible for regulating drug availability in the U.S. and granted the three currently available COVID vaccines “emergency use authorization,” a designation that renders the jabs experimental until trials finish and the vaccines are given a full license or not.

Dr. Rochelle Walesnsky, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said she doesn’t know how many CDC workers have been vaccinated because neither vaccine nor reporting of vaccine status is mandated for employees. Instead she focused her answer on the fact that the CDC is “encouraging our employees to get vaccinated.”

“We’ve been doing town halls and education seminars. Our staff have the option to report their vaccination status, but as you understand, the federal government is not requiring [vaccination] so we do not know [how many have taken the jab],” Walensky said.

Reuters spins Fauci’s testimony: Just because federal employees aren’t vaccinated doesn’t mean they’re ‘refusing’ the shot

Reuters proceeded to “fact-check” reports that Fauci and Marks said that around half of their staff weren’t vaccinated, claiming “social media posts...misinterpret comments made by the officials about vaccination levels in their organizations.”

“Fact Check-Fauci, Marks did not say 40% to 50% of CDC and FDA employees are ‘refusing the COVID-19 vaccine,’” blared its headline.

The news agency then proceeded to attempt to debunk the claim that Fauci and Marks said 40 to 50 percent of their employees are refusing to be vaccinated – even though those bureaucrats explicitly said only around 60 percent had taken the vaccine:

The percentage mentioned by Fauci and Marks coincides with the nationwide trend in the United States, where around 60% of adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 37.8% of the entire population have been fully vaccinated, based on the CDC tracker here.

An FDA spokesperson told Reuters that the claim on social media was “absolutely false.” The organization does not know the exact percentage of our staff who have not yet been vaccinated, but it has been “encouraged to hear from the large number of our staff who have chosen to be vaccinated,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

But if only 60 percent or “a little bit more than half” of NIH employees have been vaccinated, as Fauci testified under oath, that does mean that a little less than half are indeed not vaccinated. Coronavirus vaccines are essentially universally available in the U.S. now to anyone who wants them, including illegal immigrants, and they are free. Furthermore, they are even more easily available to government employees than regular people.

“This fact-check is technically correct only,” Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor told LifeSiteNews. “Yes, the quote [about ‘refusing’] appears to be wrong, but that’s not why Reuters went after it. This is a narrative check.”

“If ordinary Americans realize even a large number of people at government health agencies aren’t getting the vaccine, then they might not as well,” he explained. “That’s become the main goal of so-called fact-checks — to push a media-approved narrative. These fact-checks are then used to lower the number of people who see content the press doesn’t approve of and, in some cases, ban those outlets entirely. For daring to disagree.”

The CDC, NIH, and FDA have promoted uptake of the vaccine since the arrival of the experimental Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. Fauci himself has publicly endorsed and encouraged vaccination against COVID-19, telling NBC in February, “People need to get vaccinated as quickly and as expeditiously as possible.”

In fact, Fauci has also been encouraging children to take the vaccine after the CDC altered its guidance for 12 to 15 year olds.

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“You have the capability of protecting yourself as a young person, 12 to 15, but also knowing that you're not going to pass it on to someone else,” Fauci lectured children. 

The CDC recently adjusted its guidelines for those who have been “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19, advising such people that they can “resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” seemingly to foster uptake.

However, tempering the apparent freedom afforded by vaccinating, the CDC introduced a somewhat lengthy exception list, announcing that the jab does not abrogate mask and distancing measures where they are “required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.” 

President Joe Biden has also been criticized for announcing that Americans must “get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do. The choice is yours.”

The Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH), Francis Collins, told NBC recently, “If you’re not vaccinated, you're missing out on that chance to lift that blanket of fear that’s been there, even if you don’t think COVID-19 is that big of a deal.”

Collins is a vocal supporter of using the bodies of aborted babies in scientific research.

LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here. 


  anthony fauci, cdc, centers for disease control, coronavirus, coronavirus vaccine, coronavirus vaccines

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