Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s top government epidemiologist, previously had let his ego run wild, insisting that anyone who questioned what HE was saying was, in fact, questioning “science.”
On Tuesday he got into a word war with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a medical doctor, over the “gain of function” research the American taxpayers have funded at the Wuhan Virology Institute, the Chinese lab where the COVID-19 pandemic is considered to have originated.
The two ended up essentially accusing each other of lying, and in the process Fauci demolished what was left of the image of a grandfatherly expert on disease that he’s cultivated throughout the pandemic.
Paul, who has clashed frequently with Fauci in recent months over the pandemic, its causes, sources and treatments, cited a paper on research about bat coronaviruses and revealed that U.S. money essentially went to the hazardous and controversial research.
But Fauci objected, and had reason to. It was because he previously had told Congress that funding did not go to the specified “gain of function” research.
“This is your definition … you guys wrote it,” Paul explained. “Scientific research that increases the transmissability among animals is gain of function. They took animal viruses that only occurs in animals and they increased the transmissability to humans.
“How you can say that is not gain of function …. you’re dancing around this because you’re trying to obscure responsibility for four million people dying around the world,” he said.
Fauci claimed the senator did not know what he was talking about, and charged that if “anyone” was lying, it was the senator.
1) GOP KY Sen Paul to Fauci: Knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11, 2021? Do you still claim that NIH never funded gain of function research in Wuhan?
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 20, 2021
"All of the evidence is pointing that it came from the lab and there will be responsibility for those who funded the lab, including yourself." @RandPaul grills Dr. Anthony Fauci about research in Wuhan. https://t.co/VlT7z8drtO pic.twitter.com/0VPdaMYdoc
— Newsmax (@newsmax) July 20, 2021
Fox News reported the feud between the senator and Fauci, of the National institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been “long=running.”
Also a witness on Tuesday was Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, who discussed new mask mandates in light of a new COVID variant.
Fauci told Paul that “qualified staff” had evaluated the Wuhan work of increasing transmissability, and it was “not being gain of function.”
Fauci and Walensky were before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee and spent some time each boosting the idea of vaccines.
In recent weeks, reports have confirmed that Fauci repeatedly flip-flopped on advice to Americans about COVID, and the question of the Chinese source for the virus, a suspicion once censored by the social-media empire, now has become a logical and respected opinion.
Previously, when a report on Fauci’s emails appeared to show the doctor’s actual beliefs about COVID did not align with his public statements, Paul responded with, “Told you.”
Fauci’s emails were released under a Freedom of Information Act procedure and one appears to show him dismissing common masks as a viable mitigation option.
“Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection,” Fauci wrote.
“The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material. It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keep out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you,” the email added.
Later, Fauci advocated wearing two masks as reports described his advice becoming “more inconsistent and erratic.”
In a recent interview with “Fox & Friends,” Paul suggested there is culpability enough to go around for the pandemic.
He noted the sole U.S. representative of the World Health Organization team investigating the origin of the pandemic was Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance.
It was that organization that got money from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“So NIH gave the money to EcoHealth … and the head of EcoHealth – they got him to investigate whether Wuhan was doing anything inappropriate in their lab,” Paul said.
“But if they were, then wouldn’t he be culpable?” the Kentucky lawmaker asked. “Doesn’t he have a self-interest in smoothing things over?”
Ultimately, however, Paul said, there’s someone else who bears more responsibility.
“Dr. Fauci could be culpable for the entire pandemic,” he said at the time.
It is clear that the NIH and the branch Fauci has directed since 1984, the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, provided funding to the Wuhan lab.
The Wuhan lab’s chief scientist, Dr. Shi Zhengli, noted funding by NIAID in a research article published Nov. 30, 2017, titled “Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirus”.
See the “Fox & Friends” segment:
Former CBS News investigative report Sharyl Attkisson noted the U.S. temporarily halted gain-of-function research in 2014 because of its obvious dangers. But an exception was made for the research on bat coronaviruses by the Wuhan lab’s Dr. Shi Zhengli and Dr. Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina.
The work was “reviewed and approved” for “continued study” by the National Institutes for Health.
But Attkisson pointed out the NIH not only approved it, it helped pay for it with six grants of U.S. taxpayer funds, including from Fauci’s NIAID.
And more money was funneled through Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance.
Baric’s work centered on genetically manipulating cornaviruses, in part to allow for development of vaccines and therapeutics
Baric and Daszak teamed up with Shi to engineer genetic hybrids of bat coronaviruses, successfully getting them to infect human airway cells grafted in mice.
See Sharyl Attkisson’s report:
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