Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said on Tuesday night’s “Hannity” program that he will be asking the Justice Department for a criminal referral to ask for an investigation into Dr. Anthony Fauci, claiming that Fauci lied about his agency the National Institutes of Health funding gain of function research in Wuhan, China.
Paul accused Fauci of lying during testimony earlier on Tuesday, and Fauci vigorously defended himself against the accusations.
“Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11th, where you claimed that the NIH never funded gains of function research in Wuhan,” Paul asked during the hearing.
“I have never lied before the Congress”
“I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement,” Fauci responded.
Fauci claimed that the research Paul referred to, which was written about in 2017, was not gain of function research. The research in question took SARs, a coronavirus with a 15% fatality rate, and genetically modified it to be more transmissable to humans.
The research fits the definition of gain of function research, even though Fauci denies it.
Fauci also took issue with Paul’s allegations that the research in question could have led to COVID-19, saying it was “molecularly impossible” for the mutation of SARS to result in the virus that caused the worldwide pandemic.
Paul makes his point
At Fauci’s denial, Paul backed off of those accusations and said the research or other research like it “could have” led to the pandemic virus.
Paul did reference Fauci’s emails when the pandemic first broke, in which Fauci’s colleagues said the COVID-19 virus looked like it could have been modified in a lab.
“On a phylogenetic tree the virus looks totally normal and the close clustering with bats suggest that bats serve as the reservoir,” Scripps Research scientist Kristian Andersen wrote in February 2020. “The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.”
A week later, Andersen reversed himself and began to toe what became the party line that the virus could not have been genetically modified in a lab.