The managing editor of a right-leaning political website and who has spent much of this year blasting Dr. Anthony Fauci and public health officials’ coronavirus pandemic guidance was actually one of Fauci’s co-workers until he was fired after his identity was discovered.

The Daily Beast published a lengthy piece about the person known on Twitter as “streiff,” the managing editor of RedState.com. In reality, he is named William B. Crews and worked as a public affairs specialist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Fauci is the director of that agency.

Using his pseudonym, Crews has called the wearing of masks “a political statement” and called Fauci a “mask nazi.” A Twitter account associated with streiff is full of messaging that echoes what some Trump supporters use on a regular basis — messaging others say is contributing to the problem of misinformation around the pandemic.

In June, for example, Crews wrote a piece on RedState.com that read, in part, “I think we’re at the point where it is safe to say that the entire Wuhan virus scare was nothing more or less than a massive fraud perpetrated upon the American people by ‘experts’ who were determined to fundamentally change the way the country lives and is organized and governed.

“If there were justice, we’d send and [sic] few dozen of these fascists to the gallows and gibbet their tarred bodies in chains until they fall apart.”

The Daily Beast said it approached the NIAID with its findings about Crews. The agency responded by saying Crews informed his superiors he was retiring.

According to the report, Crews has used internal documents from the NIAID for stories he has assigned others to write for his website, including a piece on the 2013 government shutdown.

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