Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and Sen. Rand Paul had a heated exchanged at yet another Senate hearing after the Republican senator accused Fauci and the National Institute of Health of illegally funding gain-of-function research in a Wuhan lab.
Paul had previously accused Fauci of this and Fauci has denied it. During a hearing before the Senate Health Committee on Tuesday, Paul accused Fauci of lying to Congress and gave him the chance to retract his previous statements.
The Kentucky senator said Fauci could be punished with jail time for allegedly false testimony to Congress and that he was aware of what the Wuhan lab was doing with grant money that came from NIH.
Paul cited an academic paper he says show the Wuhan Institute of Virolgy was conducting illegal research to create “potential pandemic pathogens that exist only in the lab, not in nature.”
“Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress and I do not retract my previous statement,” Fauci said.
“You take an animal virus and you increase its transmissibility to humans,” Paul interrupted. “You’re saying that’s not gain of function?”
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,” Fauci said.
“How can you say that’s not gain-of-function? It’s a dance and you’re dancing around this because you’re trying to obscure responsibility for 4 million people dying around the world from a pandemic,” Paul responded.
“If the point you are making is that the grant that was funded as a sub-award from EcoHealth to Wuhan created Sars-CoV-2, that’s where you are getting,” Fauci said pointing at Paul.
“We don’t know! All of the evidence is pointing that it came from the lab and there will be responsible for those who funded the lab including yourself,” Paul said.
“I resent the lie that you are now propagating,” Fauci responded. “Because if you look at the viruses that were used in the experiments that were given in the annual reports that were published in the literature, it is molecularly impossible.”
Paul said, “nobody is saying” the viruses that were created in Wuhan caused the pandemic, the lab was still conducting gain-of-function research that was funded by NIH.
“Are you are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individuals? Fauci shot back. “I totally resent that and if anybody is lying here, Senator, it is you.”