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Why Anthony Fauci Cheapens the Order of the Rising Sun

Japan wouldn't have awarded Anthony Fauci anything had it checked his poor track record, including approving gain-of-function research funding for a Wuhan lab.



Dr Anthony Fauci delivers remarks next to former Vice President Mike Pence during a coronavirus update briefing on April 8, 2020, in the James S Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (© White House by Andrea Hanks)

The Order of the Rising Sun is the pinnacle of public honors in Japan. One of several people awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star (second class) on April 29, 2023, was Dr Anthony Fauci. Dr Fauci is the former head of the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). But he is singularly undeserving of the Order of the Rising Sun. His award should be rescinded.

An Award Conveying Deep Respect

The Cabinet Office of Japan, which is headed by the Prime Minister, tells us that the various iterations of the Order of the Rising Sun "are bestowed upon individuals of merit, in recognition of their national or public services, and in honor of their distinguished accomplishments in various areas of society." Previous awardees of the Order of the Rising Sun (second class), Japanese and non-Japanese nationals, have included businessmen, politicians, military officers, academics, and artists.

While the Cabinet Office selects awardees, the Order of the Rising Sun is "conferred by the Emperor." Indeed, the honor symbolizes deep respect afforded by the spiritual-cultural essence of Japan, the Emperor, as well as by the Japanese state.

Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro (left) and bacteriologist Hideyo Noguchi are among the previous recipients of the Order of the Rising Sun (second class).

Confusion Over Dr Fauci's Background

The Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC, issued a press release on the occasion of the awarding of the Order of the Rising Sun to Dr Anthony Fauci. It stated that Dr Fauci "contributed to the promotion in the field of medical science and strengthening bilateral relations between Japan and the United States."

How did Dr Fauci contribute "to the promotion" and "strengthening" of "bilateral relations"? According to the press release, Dr Fauci was a "former member of the US-Japan Cooperative Medical Science Program" (USJCMSP) and promoted the "US-Japan Biodefense program."

However, neither Dr Fauci's biography on the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) webpage nor his Wikipedia page makes any mention of Fauci's membership in either of these groups.

Murky Details about Highly Controversial Subjects

The USJCMSP was set up in 1965. It aims to foster cooperation between Japanese and American scientists in the field of infectious diseases and other public health concerns. Information from the USJCMSP and from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), which co-administers the program, points out that NIAID is the major US sponsor of this program. It is of course true that Dr Fauci was head of NIAID from 1985 until 2022. However, one does not have a clear sense of his role in the USJCMSP, aside from being the one who signed the checks.

Another NIAID initiative is the "US-Japan Biodefense program." It falls under the purview of NIAID's Office of Biodefense Research. The NIAID website explains:

The NIAID Office of Biodefense Research and Surety has been engaged with Japan in biomedical research involved with biosecurity and biodefense under the US-Japan Biodefense Research framework. This includes exploring future opportunities for information sharing, research collaboration, and public health response to disasters and national security.

The head of the Office of Biodefense Research and Surety advises the Director of NIAID (up until 2022, Dr Fauci) on "matters related to "biosafety" and "biocontainment." This would include "chemical, biological and/or infectious diseases."

What exactly was shared between Japan and the US concerning "chemical, biological, and/or infectious diseases" is not elaborated. Perhaps the Cabinet Office, which selected Dr Fauci to receive the Order of the Rising Sun, can enlighten the public on this.

Anthony Fauci
Dr Anthony Fauci shaking hands with President Bill Clinton in 1997. (© NIAID)

An Award for Gain-of-Function Research?

In lauding Dr Fauci, the Cabinet Office left out his more recent accomplishments. These include approving public funding for gain-of-function research on coronaviruses, similar to those which caused the COVID-19 pandemic. Even prior to the devastating global outbreak, Dr Fauci has long supported gain-of-function research, which "alter[s] a pathogen to increase either transmissibility or pathogenicity."

The Cabinet Office of Japan crowns Dr Fauci with laurels. But leaders in his home country are not so sure about his work. In 2014, for example, then-President Barack Obama saw risks overwhelming benefits and issued a moratorium on further public funding of such research, including on coronaviruses. That turned out to be a very prescient move.

In 2017, however, on the advice of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, the moratorium was lifted. Dr Fauci was a member of the Advisory Board.

Workers in protective gear during a lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, April 16, 2022. (© REUTERS by Aly Song)

Fauci Funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology

But Dr Anthony Fauci, recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, is not just any gain-of-function research funder. In fact, history will record that Dr Fauci approved public funding for gain-of-function research to be performed at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

Perhaps the Cabinet Office in Japan did not have these facts at its disposal when it nominated Dr Fauci. However, the United States House of Representatives did. What would members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic say if they were told that Dr Anthony Fauci had been honored by the State of Japan and the Emperor of Japan? Perhaps their reaction might not be suitable for publication in JAPAN Forward.

The House Subcommittee also pointed out Dr Fauci's role in constructing the official, false, narrative about the coronavirus outbreak. Yes, Dr Fauci helped spread the now-legendary fake news that the novel coronavirus originated in the Hunan Seafood Market in Wuhan, and was not a result of a suspected laboratory accident.

A World Health Organization team arrives at the Wuhan Institute of Virology on February 3, 2021. (© REUTERS by Thomas Peter)

Fauci's Advice Was Devastating

Furthermore, Dr Anthony Fauci was the medical advisor to the Donald Trump administration during the pandemic. He supported shutting down US social and economic activity and mandating vaccination. According to Dr Fauci, this was necessary to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. In practice, what he advocated was similar to China's doomed "zero covid" policy. The true toll of "zero covid" on the Chinese people remains to be uncovered. However, one can readily see the monstrous, lingering global after-effects of two years of pandemic-induced misery.

In the United States, alcohol-related deaths rose during the pandemic and the lockdowns that Dr Fauci pushed. In Japan, social isolation and uncertainty fueled suicides during the pandemic.

The world hung on every one of Dr Fauci's assertions, and we have him to thank for the consequences.

Anthony Fauci attends the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, US on April 29, 2023. (© REUTERS by Al Drago)

A Track Record of Malfeasance

It is unlikely that the Government of Japan really scrutinized Dr Fauci's past dubious accomplishments and misstatements. It is unthinkable that a fully-informed body would have awarded him anything, let alone an Order of the Rising Sun.

Dr Jonathan Fishbein is the former Director of the NIH Office for Policy in Clinical Research Operations, Division of AIDS, at the NIAID. He pointed out issues of non-compliance with federal regulations concerning clinical trials involving foster children for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) medications. He also noted the apparent lack of interest in enforcing stated regulations by the sponsoring agency, NIAID. At the time Dr Fishbein pointed out potential wrongdoing, the head of NIAID was Dr Fauci.

Dr Fauci also made irresponsible comments concerning AIDS. For example, he stated that it could be spread through casual contact. He later corrected himself, without batting an eye. And the media took almost no notice.

Rescind the Order of the Rising Sun for Dr Anthony Fauci

There has been a prolonged, and curious, media silence about his "work." Therefore, it is not difficult to understand why the Japanese Cabinet Office apparently did not know much about Dr Fauci.

However, there is no longer any excuse. Conferring the Order of the Rising Sun on Dr Fauci cheapens the award and blackens the spirit of Japan. (Japan has made at least one ill-advised award of the Order of the Rising Sun in the past.) The Cabinet Office should, quickly and quietly, rescind its decision. Henceforth, the Government of Japan should take the prudent path by steering clear of the controversial doctor.



Author: Aldric Hama

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