GOP Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky on Tuesday destroyed Dr. Anthony Fauci in a heated argument at a congressional hearing over the latter’s denial that his US government institute funded gain-of-function virus research at the virology institute in China’s Wuhan.
A columnist of The Washington Post was quick to admit on Twitter that Paul was right and Fauci was wrong.
Fauci has no idea of what’s happening
In a concise tweet, WP journalist Josh Rogin pointed out that the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a US government agency including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases led by Fauci, did fund gain-of-function research at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.
However, NIH “pretended” that the funded research did not in fact meet its own definition for “gain of function” so that it can avoid its own mechanism for oversight.
“Gain of function” refers to medical research that changes a disease or an organism in order to increase their virulence and transmissibility, among other things.
Citing a paper from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Sen. Rand Paul pointed out during Tuesday’s Fauci hearing at the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, that the Chinese institute did gain-of-function research and that it was funded by the NIH.
The author of the cited paper includes in it the number of an actual grant she was given by the NIH.
Fauci - the father of Covid?
In the paper, Shi explains how she combined two bat spiked coronavirus genes, and combined them with backbone related to SARS in order to craft brand new viruses that cannot be found in nature.
Paul pointed out that the Chinese lab thus manipulated viruses which only infect animals in nature, and through a gain of function made them capable of infecting humans.
While the research in question does fit the “gain of function” definition of NIH itself, NIH never recognized that and avoided oversight as a result.
In their exchange, the Republican Senator questioned Fauci if he wished to retract a statement he made on May 11 claiming that the NIH had never funded any gain-of-function research in Wuhan.
Paul emphasized that lying to Congress is a crime.
Seemingly agitated, Fauci never really replied to Paul’s on-points questions.
Instead, he denied that he had ever lied before Congress and refused to retract his statement.
Fauci kept insisting that the paper in question was judged by scholars not to present gain-of-function research, while Paul kept showering him with evidence from the NIH, his own institution, that it in fact does.
The GOP senator rightfully accused Fauci of “dancing around” his questions in order to blur his institution’s responsibility for the COVID-19 deaths of four million people around the world.