Republican Senator Rand Paul on Tuesday confronted Dr. Anthony Fauci about his role in funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Paul asked Fauci if he lied to Congress about his role in the research.
“Dr. Fauci, as you are aware, it is a crime to lie to Congress. The section 1001 of the US criminal code creates a felony and a five year penalty for lying to Congress,” the senator said.
“Knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11 where you claimed at the NIH never funded gain of function research and move on?” asked Paul.
To Paul’s accusations, Fauci responded during the hearing on Capitol Hill, “I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you’re referring to was judged by qualified staff, up and down the chain as not being gain of function.” “I’m totally resentful of the lie you are now spreading, Senator,” Fauci added.
This is not the first time Rand Paul has confronted Fauci about the Wuhan coronavirus and the U.S. government’s role in the pandemic. Paul has battled Fauci on school reopenings, natural immunity and the laboratory leak theory on several occasions.
At a Senate hearing on May 11, Paul raised the issue of the origins of the coronavirus and said that some in the government were not interested in investigating the laboratory escape theory. The senator said that “Government authorities, with their own interests in continuing with the gain-of-function studies say that there is nothing to look at here.”
Paul asserted that there is a link between US researchers and the Wuhan Institute of Virology Wuhan and accused them of “enhance superviruses,” then asked Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, if he still supported the NIH grant to the lab in Wuhan.
Fauci replied that “The NIH has never funded, nor does it currently fund, gain-of-function studies at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”