On Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci clashed after Paul accused Fauci of lying about gain-of-function research funding during a Capitol Hill hearing.
It was definitely a heated exchange.
Time has proven @RandPaul has had his thumb on the pulse of the science of the virus, and understood the unintended consequences of government interventions better than public health officials.
— FEE (@feeonline) July 20, 2021
Paul: ‘Dr. Fauci, As You Are Aware, It Is A Crime To Lie To Congress’
“Dr. Fauci, as you are aware, it is a crime to lie to Congress,” Paul said to the doctor and included doing so was a felony crime that could result in a five year sentence.
Paul charged that Fauci previously denied that any NIH funding had gone toward gain-of-function research, similar to what was reportedly done at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Paul said, “Viruses that in nature only infect animals were manipulated in the Wuhan lab to gain the function of infecting humans.”
“This research fits the definition of the research the NIH said was subject to the pause in 2014 to 2017, a pause in funding on gain of function,” Paul continued. “But the NIH failed to recognize this, defines it away, and it never came under any scrutiny.”
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Paul then said, sternly, “Dr. Fauci, knowing it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish retract your statement?”
Democrats swoop in to rescue Dr. Fauci after @RandPaul again presents him with gain of function research that the NIH funded in the Wuhan lab.
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) July 20, 2021
Fauci To Paul: ‘You Do Not Know What You Are Talking About’
“Sen. Paul, I have never lied before the Congress and I do not retract that statement,” Fauci replied.
Paul shot back, “You take an animal virus and you increase transmissibility to human, you’re saying that is not gain of function.”
Fauci wasn’t having it. “Sen. Paul, you do not know what you are taking about, quite frankly and I want to say that officially,” Fauci said. “You do not know what you are talking about.”
But Paul, who is also a doctor, wasn’t having it either. He argued that it did meet the definition written by the NIH.
“It is not,” Fauci replied.
Paul responded, “It is a dance, and you’re dancing around this because you’re trying to obscure responsibility for four million people dying around the world from a pandemic.”
When I asked Dr. Fauci about GOF research funding to a Wuhan lab in May he repeatedly denied it. Yet, emails released under the Freedom of Information Act show he knew. He isn’t a trusted advisor & needs to be removed from a position of authority. https://t.co/VgQL4mtWuX
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 19, 2021
Sen. Paul then quoted Rutgers molecular biologist, Dr. Richard Ebright, who said, “The Wuhan lab used NIH funding to construct novel chimeric SARS-related coronaviruses able to infect human cells and laboratory animals. …This is high-risk research that creates new potential pandemic pathogens (i.e., potential pandemic pathogens that exist only in a lab, not in nature).”
“This research matches — indeed epitomizes — the definition of ‘gain of function research of concern’ for which federal funding was ‘paused’ in 2014-2017.”
Yes, Dr. Fauci’s NIH did fund the Wuhan Virology Lab. Here’s the verbatim admission from their chief scientist Dr. Shi Zhengli. pic.twitter.com/wk5mzeLWHR
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 20, 2021
Paul To Fauci: ‘You Funded It’
“I totally resent the lie that you are now propagating, Senator,” Fauci replied.
“They’re animal viruses that became more transmissible in humans and you funded it,” Paul finished, as his time expired.
Fauci replied, “And you are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individual — I totally resent that.”
CNBC reports, “The NIH did fund a nonprofit called the EcoHealth Alliance that assisted in research into bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab, but Fauci maintains that qualified experts have examined the study “up and down” and concluded that it does not constitute gain of function research.”
MIT biologist Kevin Esvelt reviewed this paper that was published with financial assistance from Dr. Fauci’s NIH/NIAID and concluded “certain techniques that the researchers used seemed to meet the definition of gain-of-function”
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 20, 2021
“It could have been,” Paul said.
“If anybody’s lying here, Senator, it is you,” Fauci finished.
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