If the Republicans retake the Senate in the November midterm elections, COVID czar Dr. Anthony Fauci had better expect to get investigated, Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday.
Paul — who is in line to be the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee if the Republicans win — told conservative podcast host Lisa Boothe that he would launch an investigation into whether Fauci and the National Institutes of Health funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China.
The senator has, in the past, accused Fauci of lying to Congress about funding a group called EcoHealth Alliance, which received NIH grants for work on coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. (We’ve kept on top of the evidence that Fauci wasn’t telling the truth here at The Western Journal — and we’ll continue to bring readers the latest developments about the origins of SARS-CoV-2. You can help us by subscribing.)
Paul reiterated that view on “The Truth with Lisa Boothe,” declaring, “Fauci lied from the very beginning,”
“If we win in November, if I’m chairman of a committee, if I have subpoena power, we’ll go after every one of his records,” he said.
“We’ll have an investigator go through this piece-by-piece because we don’t need this to happen again,” the senator said.
Paul’s contentious relationship with the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was on display at a May 11, 2021, Senate committee hearing.
During his questioning of Fauci, the Kentucky Republican said “government authorities — self-interested in continuing ‘gain-of-function’ research — say there’s nothing to see here … ‘Gain-of-function’ research, as you know, is juicing up naturally occurring animal viruses to infect humans.
Should Fauci be investigated?
“To arrive at the truth, the U.S. government should admit that the Wuhan Virology Institute was experimenting to enhance the coronavirus’s ability to infect humans,” he said, referring to NIH grants given to EcoHealth Alliance.
“Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect,” Fauci said.
The White House chief medical adviser claimed the NIH “has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
Gain-of-function research, which would make viruses more potent, might have played a part in enhancing the novel coronavirus if the lab-leak hypothesis turns out to be true. No wonder Fauci didn’t want the NIH associated with it.
During a July 20, 2021, hearing, Paul confronted Fauci with research and reports that gain-of-function research had taken place at the Wuhan Institute of Virology — and that it was paid for with U.S. taxpayer money.
“Dr. Fauci, as you are aware, it is a crime to lie to Congress. … On your last trip to our committee on May 11, you stated that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Paul said.
“Dr. Fauci, knowing it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11 where you claimed that the NIH never funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan?” the senator asked, warning him that it is “a felony and a five-year penalty for lying to Congress.”
“Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement,” Fauci said in response.
“This paper that you’re referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain-of-function,” he said.
“You take an animal virus and you increase the transmissibility to humans, you’re saying that’s not gain-of-function?” Paul asked.
“Senator Paul, you do not know what you’re talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about,” Fauci said.
In September 2021, left-of-center investigative journalism outlet The Intercept published new documents that revealed EcoHealth Alliance had, in fact, done taxpayer-funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan.
According to the documents, none of the viruses being worked on by EcoHealth Alliance and individuals at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were close enough to SARS-CoV-2 to be related — although that isn’t the point.
Fauci dismissed the lab-leak hypothesis as a conspiracy theory and told Congress the NIH had never funded gain-of-function research. That doesn’t look terribly plausible at the moment. That means he could be in a world of trouble if the GOP retakes the Senate in November, especially given that Paul isn’t going to let this go.
“Fauci should go to prison for five years for lying to Congress,” Paul said in a December appearance on Fox Business.
“They have prosecuted other people. They have selectively gone after Republicans, but in no way will they do anything about him lying. But he should be prosecuted for lying,” he added, saying that “at the very least” Fauci should be “taken out of position because I think he cost people’s lives through misinformation.”
If the predicted midterm red wave happens, that could be the best outcome Fauci could hope for.