If anyone in Congress has done more than Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to hold Dr. Anthony Fauci accountable for his potential role in the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can’t think of anyone.
For months after information surfaced earlier this year that Fauci’s National Institute of Allergies And Infectious Diseases doled out grant money to a research company, who then used it to fund risky “gain-of-function” research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China — the site of the suspected COVID leak — Paul has frequently pressed Fauci for answers.
Fauci, like a typical Washington bureaucrat who has been in government far too long (nearly 40 years at his current position), routinely denied that he gave any taxpayer money for the risky research, despite documents that suggested otherwise.
In September, for instance, Paul called Fauci out on Twitter after a report, based on then-newly released documents, found that his agency and the National Institutes of Health gave millions to support such research, as Fox News reported at the time:
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says newly public documents revealing the extent of U.S. funding of coronavirus research in Wuhan, China, show that National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) head Dr. Anthony Fauci lied during his previous testimony to Congress.
Fauci has adamantly denied that the National Institutes of Health funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan. Paul blasted Fauci in a Tuesday tweet, saying that the NIAID director had “lied again.”
“And I was right about his agency funding novel Coronavirus research at Wuhan,” Paul said.
Surprise surprise – Fauci lied again
And I was right about his agency funding novel Coronavirus research at Wuhan.
Read this thread and the papers released. https://t.co/zQizKXLdbd
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 7, 2021
“The Intercept that revealed the U.S. government pumped $3.1 million into American health organization EcoHealth Alliance to back bat coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” the network reported.
“The documents make it clear that assertions by the NIH Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful,” Rutgers University chemical biology professor Richard Ebright added in a Twitter thread.
During a previous exchange when Fauci was providing congressional testimony about the virus, he denied directly that his agency funded coronavirus research.
“I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement,” he said at one point during summer testimony. “You do not know what you are talking about quite frankly and I want to say that officially.”
Paul fired back: “You’re dancing around this because you’re trying to obscure responsibility.”
Now, new documents appear to prove Paul was right all along and Fauci did indeed lie to Congress, as Fox News noted in a separate report last week:
Despite repeated denials by NIAID Director Anthony Fauci that his agency used American taxpayer money to fund Chinese gain-of-function research on bats infected with coronaviruses, the National Institutes of Health – which oversees NIAID – admitted in a letter to House Oversight Committee ranking member James Comer, R-Ky., that a “limited experiment” was indeed conducted.
“Five million people died from a virus that came out of a lab — wouldn’t we want to know, wouldn’t we want to prevent this from happening again? This virus is very deadly, what if we had a virus that had a 15% mortality rate?” Paul said in a later interview with Fox News anchor Will Cain.
He added that China is already experimenting on a variation of the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus which struck in the early 2000s, adding that the predecessor strain had a mortality rate of 1 in 2.
“They still to this day are trying to get around the truth,” Paul said. “They say ‘well it was unexpected that it gained function.’”
Paul also noted that in 2012, Fauci remarked that a pandemic could be worth the experimentation.
“In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic? Many ask reasonable questions: given the possibility of such a scenario – however remote – should the initial experiments have been performed and/or published in the first place, and what were the processes involved in this decision?” he said.
Fauci needs to be held accountable, as do his NIH colleagues, but since he’s Biden’s ‘chief medical adviser,’ we’re not holding our breath.