The ongoing war of words between Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Dr. Anthony Fauci escalated yet again Tuesday when the lawmaker essentially charged President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor with committing perjury in congressional testimony over the possible origins of COVID-19, as Breitbart reports.
During an appearance on The Water Cooler with David Brody podcast, Paul discussed Fauci’s assertions before a Senate hearing last week in which the doctor claimed that the National Institutes of Health “has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” in response to questioning designed to explore the theory that the virus escaped from that very facility in China.
A contentious exchange ensued between the two men during those proceedings, with Paul alleging that a virologist in the United States had been collaborating with scientists in China on that specific type of research, which is designed to make viruses more lethal and/or increase their contagion in humans.
Fauci fired back, saying, “Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely, entirely and completely incorrect,” adding that the scientist the lawmaker referenced is not involved in gain of function research, but if he did, it would be done in North Carolina, not Wuhan.
Paul did not let up, arguing that gain of function research did happen in the manner he outlined, and that the Wuhan Institute of Virology had indeed received American funding through a sub grant from the National Institutes of Health. Fauci stood firm, however, saying, “I will repeat again, the NIH and [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases] categorically has not funded gain of function research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
During the aforementioned podcast appearance, Paul was asked whether Fauci’s statements amounted to perjury, to which he replied, “Absolutely, he lied to the American people. There was gain of function research going on with Dr. Shi Zhengli at the Wuhan Institute.”
In support of his assertion, Paul added, “In her paper, she actually thanked Dr. Fauci and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of National Institutes of Health that Dr. Fauci runs. It’s listed at the end of the paper. This paper was funded by NIAID research and it lists a ten digit number that identifies the research month she got from the United States.”
Describing why he believes that U.S.-funded research fits the description of “gain of function,” Paul added, “Well, it took a SARS virus, which is a coronavirus, that’s 15 times more deadly than COVID, and it added it to S protein, which is something in the surface of it, to make it more easily infections to epithelial cells for the respiratory tract. That to me is gain of function.”
While the likelihood of a perjury charge against Fauci is extremely remote, Republicans frustrated with his continued vacillation on this and so many other pandemic-related issues have rightly amplified their calls for his ouster, with Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) perhaps saying it best this week, “It is long past time for Dr. Fauci to stop talking to the American public. Fauci should resign or be fired immediately.”