Rand Paul and Fauci Clash Over Wuhan, COVID-19 Origins: ‘Entirely and Completely Incorrect’


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Dr. Anthony Fauci are sparring over whether the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research at the Wuhan Virology Institute and where the virus originated.

During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Paul asked Fauci, “Do you still support funding… of the lab in Wuhan?”

Fauci replied, “Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan institute.”

Gain of function research is “a controversial form of study that involves boosting the infectivity and lethality of a pathogen,” as The Hill reports.

Paul argued the NIH did send funding under Fauci, asking him again, “Do you support that the money from NIH that was going to the Wuhan Institute.”

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Fauci explained, “The SARS-CoV-1 originated in bats in China. It would have been irresponsible of us if we did not investigate the bat viruses and the serology to see who might have been infected.”

Watch their exchange below:

The senator suggested it is “perhaps irresponsible to send it to the Chinese government that we may not be able to trust with this knowledge and with this incredibly dangerous viruses.”

Growing frustrated with Paul after suggesting he supports “gain of function research,” Fauci fired back, “I don’t favor gain of function research. You are saying things that are not correct.”

When asked if he would “categorically say COVID-19 could not have occurred through serial passage” in a lab, Fauci responded, “I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done and I’m fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China.”

He added, “However, I will repeat again the NIH and NIAID categorically has not funded gain of function research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

Agreeing an investigation into where the virus came from is important, Fauci reiterated, “We have not funded gain of function research on this virus in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. No matter how many times you say it, it didn’t happen.”

Check out more of the exchange below:

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Paul took to Twitter to express his frustration with Fauci, “Dr Fauci dissembled or tried to hide his long time support for ‘gain-of-function’ research which creates super-viruses that jump from animals to humans.”

He added, “11 labs in the US create these super-viruses in the US and one of them collaborated with Wuhan Virology Inst —Fauci has supported NIH funds for all these labs!”

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