U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) recently engaged in another heated exchange with Dr. Anthony Fauci — this time over allegations that the National Institutes of Health provided funding for gain-of-function research in China.
Unsatisfied with the chief White House medical adviser’s answers, Paul subsequently revealed that he would be asking the Department of Justice to investigate Fauci for lying to Congress.
“He has lied to Congress”
According to the Daily Wire, the senator made his announcement during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s Hannity.
Host Sean Hannity began by asking his guest if it was his “belief based on the evidence” that Fauci “lied before Congress and broke the law.”
Not only did Paul answer “yes,” he added that he “will be sending a letter to the Department of Justice asking for a criminal referral because he has lied to Congress.”
During his questioning of Fauci, the Kentucky Republican said that “gain-of-function research was done entirely in the Wuhan Institute by Dr. Shi and was funded by the NIH” despite Fauci’s prior denials.
Citing a Wuhan virology paper, Paul noted that “Shi credits the NIH and lists the actual number of the grant that she was given by the NIH.”
“Their own oversight mechanism”
He went on to reference the medical report, explaining: “In this paper, she took two bat coronavirus genes, spike genes, and combined with with a SARS-related backbone to create new viruses that are not found in nature.”
Such “lab-created viruses” reportedly became transmissible from animal to human, unlike similar viruses observed in nature.
“Viruses that in nature only infect animals were manipulated in the Wuhan lab to gain the function of infecting humans,” Paul said, noting that “fits the definition of the research that the NIH said was subject to the pause in 2014 to 2017.”
Fauci insisted that the activity in question did not constitute gain-of-function research and denied that he ever lied to Congress — but Paul was not the only one who was not convinced.
Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin, for example, tweeted: “Hey guys, [Paul] was right and Fauci was wrong. The NIH was funding gain of research in Wuhan but NIH pretended it didn’t meet their ‘gain of function’ definition to avoid their own oversight mechanism.”