Dr. Anthony Fauci has faced renewed backlash in recent days after the release of thousands of emails revealing what critics say are contradictions between public and private statements about the COVID-19 pandemic.
For his part, U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) called for the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to resign over the latest controversy. In a pair of tweets on Friday, the Missouri Republican sounded off on Fauci, who also serves as the Biden administration’s top medical adviser.
“Tried to stop a full investigation”
“Anthony Fauci’s recently released emails and investigative reporting about [COVID-19] origins are shocking,” Hawley wrote. “The time has come for Fauci to resign and for a full congressional investigation into the origins of [COVID-19] — and into any and all efforts to prevent a full accounting.”
He went on to declare that the “public deserves to know if persons within the [U.S. government] tried to stop a full investigation into [COVID-19] origins, as recently reported.”
According to Hawley, “Congress must also find out to what extent Fauci’s NIAID was involved in financing research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
As experts increasingly see the state-run Chinese lab as the possible source of the viral outbreak, Fauci has been under fire for the revelation that his agency approved roughly $600,000 in taxpayer money to fund its research.
While Fauci has claimed that the U.S. funding did not support so-called gain-of-function research, which can increase the transmissibility of a virus, serious questions remain.
“Fauci was worried”
The recently published emails revealed, among other things, a close relationship between Fauci and his Chinese counterpart as well as skepticism over the efficacy of face masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Based on these concerns, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke out as one of the first prominent Republicans to call for Fauci’s ouster.
“Told you,” he recently tweeted, including the hashtag “#firefauci.”
Some critics, including Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson, have gone even further, suggesting that Fauci should be criminally investigated for lying under oath in light of revelations found in the emails.
“Collectively, they show that from the beginning, Fauci was worried the public might conclude that COVID originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Carlson said. “Why was Fauci be concerned that Americans would conclude that? Possibly because Tony Fauci knew perfectly well he’d funded gain-of-function experiments at that same laboratory.”