A virologist on Trump’s COVID-19 team said he had been transferred to the ‘election fraud investigation’

Immunology professor Steven Hatfill, 67, was an advisor to White House Commerce Director Peter Navarro at the time of the emails.

A virologist on Donald Trump’s COVID-19 response team said the virus had taken a “back seat” in the 2020 election and later added that he had been “displaced” to promote the president’s allegations of electoral fraud. as the number soared last winter.

Steven Hatfill, a George Washington University professor who advised White House Commerce Director Peter Navarro, made the comments in emails obtained by a select House subcommittee investigating the government’s COVID response.

‘With elections so close, COVID is taking a backseat, but disease is making it big'[s] ugly head again,” Hatfill wrote to an outside colleague in October 2020.

After the election, he wrote that he “moved into the election fraud investigation in November,” while Trump continued to claim the 2020 election was stolen from him, a claim that fueled the January 6 Capitol uprising by his supporters.

In the days following the election, the U.S. averaged more than 1,000 deaths a day from COVID, a winter wave that would end in a daily average of 3,600 deaths in January, according to data from the United States. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.


Hatfill “moved to the election fraud investigation” in November 2020 after President Trump refused to accept the results. Above, Trump at a March 2020 campaign rally

At the time, US COVID-19 cases increased during a winter wave

At the time, US COVID-19 cases increased during a winter wave

Meanwhile, Trump and his team of lawyers were on the offensive, refusing to grant Joe Biden the election and urging state election officials to “find” votes he said were meant for him.

When a GW colleague asked Hatfill why he didn’t “fix” the virus, he replied, “Because the election stuff got out of hand. I’ll go where my team goes,” citing his efforts to challenge the results of the Nevada election, according to emails obtained by the Washington Post.

Hatfill defended his role in the election era in a statement to the newspaper.

“From my perspective as a doctor, I was, and still am, frustrated that public health was being treated like a political football.

‘Moreover, I was disgusted by the destruction of the National Pandemic Plan at the hands of conflicting petty bureaucrats; a plan that focused on early treatment and community outreach, rather than experimental vaccines and panic,” Hatfill added, referring to hydroxychloroquine.

“I was asked to serve in the Executive Office of the President of the United States at a time of extreme crisis. I took this call unreservedly and would do it again regardless of the executive’s political leanings.”

Hatfill, left, rose to prominence after he was falsely accused of committing the 2001 anthrax email attacks that killed five people.  The DOJ finally settled with him for over $5 million

Hatfill, left, rose to prominence after he was falsely accused of committing the 2001 anthrax email attacks that killed five people. The DOJ finally settled with him for over $5 million

Hatfill, 67, first gained notoriety after he was falsely accused of participating in the 2001 anthrax attacks, which sent letters containing traces of the deadly bacteria to media and lawmakers, which killed five people and infected 17 people.

His house was raided by the FBI and his phone was tapped. He sued the Department of Justice, which eventually settled the lawsuit and paid him $2.825 million in cash and an annuity of $150,000 per year for 20 years, according to the New York Times.

“‘Person of Interest’ to WH advisor in 20 years,” Hatfill wrote in a February 2020 email exchange, saying he “helped draft memo for big D yesterday.”

“Only in America LOL.”

Hatfill routinely bragged about his role and his closeness to powerful government officials, according to the emails.

“They sometimes fly me around in private jets to sort things out. Seeing the good and the bad and what needs to be fixed,” he wrote in a June 2020 email.

“I actually lost it and told Fauci he was full of crap a few weeks ago,” Hatfill wrote on September 3, 2020 of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who is now Biden’s medical head. counselor.

Hatfill also appeared to be promoting President Trump’s favorite COVID drug: hydroxycloroquine.

“The President has been grossly misadvised by the COVID Task Force on the appropriate pandemic response to COVID-19,” Hatfill wrote in a September 22, 2020 letter to then Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

He then listed alternative recommendations, including hydroxychloroquine. The benefits of the antimalarial drug do not outweigh their risks, according to the CDC.

On Thursday, the Democrat-led House subcommittee for which the emails were intended issued a subpoena demanding that Hatfill hand over the documents requested in April.

‘Dr. Hatfill has refused to provide documents and has misleadingly downplayed his involvement in the pandemic in communications with Select Subcommittee staff,” House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, who chairs the subcommittee, wrote in a memo to colleagues. obtained by the Washington Post.