Senator Rand Paul says Doctor Anthony Fauci lied to Congress following a bombshell report indicating the United States government helped fund coronavirus research at a lab in Wuhan, China.
Internal documents obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show the National Institute of Health (NIH) provided a “bat coronavirus grant” to a group called the EcoHealth Alliance.
“The bat coronavirus grant provided EcoHealth Alliance with a total of $3.1 million, including $599,000 that the Wuhan Institute of Virology used in part to identify and alter bat coronaviruses likely to infect humans,” the report indicates.
The Intercept notes that such research was fraught with peril, reporting that even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic “many scientists were concerned about the potential dangers associated with such experiments.”
Senator Rand Paul accused Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under the NIH, of having lied to Congress about U.S. funding for coronavirus research in Wuhan.
“Surprise surprise – Fauci lied again,” Paul (R-KY) tweeted early Tuesday, referencing The Intercept article. “And I was right about his agency funding novel Coronavirus research at Wuhan.”
During a July hearing, Paul and Fauci got into a testy exchange in which the Senator accused Fauci of “lying.”
“I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement,” Fauci fired back.
“You do not know what you are talking about quite frankly and I want to say that officially.”
Paul wasn’t the only one to point out that Fauci’s testimony may have fallen just shy of honest.
Rutgers University chemical biology professor Richard Ebright posted to social media that prior insistence that NIH did not support gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) was false.
“The documents make it clear that assertions by the NIH Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful,” Ebright wrote.
A spokesman for EcoHealth Alliance told the Intercept, “We applied for grants to conduct research. The relevant agencies deemed that to be important research, and thus funded it. So I don’t know that there’s a whole lot to say.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson accused Doctor Anthony Fauci of being untruthful back in June following a release of emails he believed to show the top expert on infectious disease lied to Congress about the origin of the pandemic.
Carlson went so far as to call for a criminal investigation.
“Are Peter Dazak and Tony Fauci under criminal investigation?” Carlson asked, referencing a virologist who was doing U.S. government-funded coronavirus research in Wuhan and thanked the doctor for his support.
“We can only hope they are. They certainly deserve it,” the Fox News host continued.
Upon learning of the new Intercept report, other lawmakers chimed in saying Fauci has been deceitful and should resign.
“Your tax dollars funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China,” Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) tweeted. “What is Fauci hiding?”
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) demanded Fauci step down over the revelation.
“Anthony Fauci has repeatedly and deliberately misled Congress and the American people,” Hawley said. “Resign. And face a congressional inquiry.”
Senator Paul referred Fauci to the Justice Department for allegedly lying to Congress in July.
“He’s lying about whether or not he funded gain-of-function research, and yes, he should be punished,” Paul said in an interview shortly thereafter.
The Intercept’s report follows an article in the BBC from early August that reported EcoHealth Alliance “was awarded a grant in 2014 to look into possible coronaviruses from bats. EcoHealth received $3.7m from the NIH, $600,000 of which was given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
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