Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci have had tense exchanges in the past over the coronavirus pandemic but the most recent brawl was during a Senate health committee hearing when the two were talking about the funding of gain-of-function research.
Paul opened up the discussion by talking about what gain-of-function research is, which he described as a way “to juice up naturally occurring animal viruses to infect humans.” He claimed that the Wuhan Institute of Virology had collaborated with a U.S virologist on funding gain-of-function research and questioned the origins of the coronavirus and the “lab leak” hypothesis.
One of the theories is that the coronavirus resulted from experiments in the lab that had accidentally “spilled over.” The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has even noted that scientists had difficulty accessing “raw data” from China and has called for further investigation into the lab leak theory, adding that one of their top doctors wasn’t even sure if it was a virus that had escaped the lab.
“To arrive at the truth, the U.S. government should admit that the Wuhan Virology Institute was experimenting to enhance the coronavirus’s ability to infect humans. Juicing up super viruses is not new. Scientists in the U.S. have long known how to mutate animal viruses to infect humans,” Paul said.
Fauci, however, said that Paul’s statements were “entirely and completely incorrect.” He said that the National Institutes of Health, where he serves as director, has never and does not currently fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute.
Paul pressed on and cited that the Wuhan Institute was previously funded through an EcoHealth subgrant, but Fauci replied that it would have been “irresponsible” of the U.S not to have investigated the bat viruses in China. The nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance granted partially funded research at the Wuhan Institute after the 2002-2004 SARS epidemic that involved analyzing bat specimens and to study their potential for infecting humans.
Paul suggested that the COVID-19 virus was originated in a Wuhan Institute lab after experimentation in 2019, adding that the controversial documents from the Wuhan experiments involved genetically modifying viruses to make them more infectious in an effort to better understand them. He then asked Fauci if he would say that the COVID-19 virus “could not have” occurred by serial passage in a laboratory.
“I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done, and I’m fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China. However, I will repeat again, the NIH and NIAID categorically have not funded gain of function research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Fauci said.
While scientists are still uncertain over the COVID-19 origins, Paul’s questions are important. Fauci has continued to flat out deny as his best course of action and rely on mainstream media to protect him. He needs to be pressed further until he admits that the U.S funded a Wuhan Lab and continues to follow the money.
Not to mention the Bill Gates/NIH partnership that started in 2014. Republicans uncover stuff like this all the time just to have Democrats sweep it under the rug.
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