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House Republicans demand Facebook turn over communications with Fauci regarding COVID-19

The lawmakers are giving Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg until June 23 to respond to the request.

Updated: June 9, 2021 - 3:56pm

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House Republicans are demanding Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg surrender any communications the company has had with U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci and other federal employees regarding COVID-19, claiming that the federal government may have "induced Facebook to censor certain speech in violation of the First Amendment."

In the Wednesday letter, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and Kentucky Rep. James Comer point to emails recently obtained via FOIA from Fauci's government email account that indicated that Zuckerberg personally "communicated with [Fauci] about the COVID-19 pandemic."

"In light of Facebook’s subsequent censorship of certain COVID-19 content – including content about the pandemic’s origin –these communications with Dr. Fauci raise the prospect that the federal government induced Facebook to censor certain speech in violation of the First Amendment," the Republicans write, referring to Facebook's regular censorship over the past year of content supporting the "lab-leak" origin theory of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. 

The letter demands that Facebook surrender "all documents and communications between or among Facebook employees and U.S. government employees," including Fauci, "referring or relating to COVID-19, including about the origins of the virus, nature of the virus, treatment of or remedies for the virus, or government policies relating to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The representatives also ask for "all documents and communications between or among Facebook employees referring or relating to any request by any U.S. government official to censor or moderate content related to COVID-19."

 

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