A press officer departs Anthony Fauci’s NIAID after his unmasking as a hard-right Covid misinformation troll
William Crews had been a public affairs specialist at the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the last 13 years.
That ended Monday morning when he informed the agency of his decision to retire, after he was identified as the managing editor at RedState, a prominent Trump loyalist website.
Crews’ RedState duties are performed under the alias streiff. While enjoying the benefits of pseudonymity, he disparaged and worked against NIAID with incendiary rhetoric and spread misinformation in the midst of a pandemic.
In one tame example he referred to Fauci as a “mask Nazi.”
The report comes on the heels of revelations last week that HHS’s top communications official Michael Caputo urged Trump partisans to ready themselves for armed insurrection while accusing his agency’s scientists of “sedition” — attacks on public servants that have now become frequent occurrences in the last year of President Donald Trump’s first term.
The riveting investigation is detailed in this Lachlan Markay report at The Daily Beast. Crews’ resignation was confirmed to Endpoints News by a NIAID spokesperson.
Most of streiff’s posts occur during business hours, but that isn’t proof Crews used government time or equipment. While NIAID declined to comment beyond confirming his retirement, they included in their response to us a list of ethics resources, among them 5 CFR 2635.704 and 2635.705, which prohibit federal employees from using government time and equipment for unauthorized purposes.
Jason Mast contributed reporting