Rand Paul and Anthony Fauci Clash on NIH Funding in Wuhan: ‘It Is a Crime to Lie to Congress’
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) grilled Dr. Anthony Fauci during a hearing on the Chinese coronavirus Tuesday over his prior claim that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has never funded gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Paul’s presentation triggered President Biden’s chief medical adviser, who refused to retract his May 11 statement and instead snapped at the Kentucky senator, brazenly telling Paul, “you do not know what you are talking about.”
“Dr. Fauci, as you are aware it is a crime to lie to Congress,” Paul began during the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions hearing Tuesday, reminding Fauci of his previous remarks to the committee on May 11th, during which the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director stated that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“And yet, gain-of-function research was done entirely in the Wuhan Institute … and was funded by the NIH,” Paul said, citing Wuhan Virology paper entitled, “Discovery of a Rich Gene Pool of Bat SARS-Related Coronaviruses.”
“In this paper … she credits the NIH and lists the actual number of the grant that she was given by the NIH,” Paul said. “In this paper, she took two bat coronavirus genes, spiked genes, and combined them with a SARS-related backbone to create new viruses that are not found in nature.”
He continued (emphasis added):
These lab-created viruses within to shown to replicate in humans. These experiments combine genetic information from different coronaviruses that infect animals but not humans to create novel artificial viruses able to infect human cells. 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 that the NIH said was subject to the pause in 2014 to 2017 — a pause in funding on gain of function. But the NIH failed to recognize this, defines in a way, and it never came under any scrutiny.
Paul also cited Dr. Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist from Rutgers, who described the research in Wuhan as matching the “definition of gain of function research done entirely in Wuhan for which there was supposed to be a federal pause.”
“Dr. Fauci knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11 where you claimed that the NIH never funded gain of function research in Wuhan?” Paul asked:
But Fauci would not retract his statement and maintained that gain of function research did not occur.
“Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you were referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain 0f function — let me finish!” he said as Paul interjected.
“You take an animal virus and you increase this transmissibility to humans, you’re saying that’s not gain of function?” Paul asked.
“Yeah 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,” he said as Paul interjected again.
“This is your definition that you guys wrote. It says that scientific research that increases the transmissibility among animals is gain of function. They took animal viruses that only occur in animals and they increase their transmissibility to humans. How you can say that is not gain of function?” Paul asked.
“It is not,” Fauci said as Paul continued.
“It’s 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,” Paul added.
In May, Fauci admitted the NIH funded the Wuhan lab but continued to deny gain of function research, defining it as “taking a virus that could infect humans and making it either more transmissible and/or pathogenic for humans.”
“That categorically was not done,” Fauci claimed.
Paul has since said Fauci “lied to the American people.” Speaking on Real America’s Voice, Paul explained:
There was gain of function research going on with Dr. Shi Zhengli at the Wuhan Institute.
In her paper, she actually thanked Dr. Fauci and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is a part of National Institutes of Health (NIH) that Dr. Fauci runs.
It’s listed at the end of the paper. This paper was fined by NIAID research, and it lists a ten-digit number that identifies the research money she got from the United States. Was it gain of function?
Well, it took a SARS virus, which is a coronavirus, that’s 15 times more deadly than COVID, and it added to it S protein, which is something in the surface of it, to make it more easily infectious to epithelial cells for the respiratory tract. That, to me, is gain of function.