Fauci then accuses Paul of lying after senator provides proof NIH awarded grants to Wuhan Institute of Virology before COVID-19 pandemic.“The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Fauci told Congress in May.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci clashed yet again over the U.S. government’s involvement in gain-of-function coronavirus research at the Wuhan Virology Institute.
In a Senate Health Committee hearing Tuesday about the federal COVID response, Paul implied that Fauci lied to Congress in May for denying that the National Institute of Health played a role in bat coronavirus research in China.
“Knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress…do you wish to retract your May 11 claim that the NIH never funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan?” Paul asked Fauci after citing numerous scientific articles showing the opposite to be true.
“Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement,” Fauci answered. “This paper was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain-of-function.”
“When you take an animal virus, and you increase its transmissibility to humans—you’re saying that’s not gain-of-function research?” Paul asked.
Fauci snapped, “That is correct, and Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly! And I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about.”
Paul, a physician himself, then read the NIH’s own definition of gain-of-function research.
“This is your definition that you guys wrote. It says that ‘scientific research that increases the transmissibility among animals is gain-of-function,’” Paul said. The Wuhan researchers “took animal viruses…then increased their transmissibility to humans. How you can say that is not gain-of-function—it’s a dance, and you’re dancing around this, because you’re trying to obscure responsibility for four million people around the world dying from a pandemic.”
Fauci then appeared to take offense at the notion that the Wuhan lab’s coronavirus research resulted in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If the point that you are making is that the grant that was funded as a subaward by EcoHealth to Wuhan created SARS-COV-2, that’s where you are getting,” Fauci said, pointing two fingers at Paul before the senator interrupted.
“We don’t know…but all the evidence is pointing that it came from the lab and there will be responsibility for those that funded the lab, including yourself,” Paul said.
“I totally resent the lie you are now propagating, Senator,” Fauci said.
Paul noted that “no one is saying” the viruses that were created in Wuhan caused the pandemic.
“What we’re alleging that gain-of-function was going on in that lab and NIH funded it,” Paul said.
“Those viruses are molecularly impossible to result in SARS-CoV-2…You are implying what we did was responsible for the deaths of individuals. If anybody is lying here, Senator, it is you,” Fauci seethed.
Following the tense exchange, Paul cited a quote by virologist Dr. Shi Zhengli crediting the NIH with funding the Wuhan lab’s bat coronavirus research.
On May 11, Fauci denied to Paul that the NIH provided funding to the Wuhan lab for gain-of-function research.
“The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Fauci claimed.
This is false.
In 2015, the Obama administration and the NIH under Dr. Anthony Fauci awarded the Wuhan Virology Institute $3.7 million in research grants through EcoHealth Alliance for scientific gain-of-function coronavirus experimentation on bats.
It’s clear Fauci perjured Congress, but given Attorney General Merrick Garland is a Joe Biden sycophant focused on persecuting Trump supporters, the likelihood that Fauci will face justice is virtually nonexistent.