Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced he sent an “official criminal referral” against Dr. Anthony Fauci to the Department of Justice.
On Saturday, he shared a Twitter post that displayed an email showing information exchanged between Fauci and Jeremy Farrar, current chief scientist for the World Health Organization who directed the Wellcome Trust, a health research charity, at the time of the correspondence.
This directly contradicts everything he said in committee hearing to me, denying absolutely that they funded any gain of function, and it’s absolutely a lie. That’s why I sent an official criminal referral to the DOJ. https://t.co/Y191SmMiIr— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 29, 2023
Paul stated, “This directly contradicts everything he said in committee hearing to me, denying absolutely that they funded any gain of function, and it’s absolutely a lie.”
The original post was shared by Real Clear News reporter Philip Melanchthon Wegmann.
He highlighted the portion of the email where Fauci wrote:
“The suspicion was heightened by the fact that scientists in Wuhan University are known to have been working on gain-of-function experiments to determine the molecular mechanisms associated with bat viruses adapting to human infection, and the outbreak originated in Wuhan.”
07/21: @RandPaul: "Do you still claim NIH never funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan?"— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) July 29, 2023
Fauci: "I've never lied before Congress.."
Making animal viruses more transmissible isn't GoF, he said adding, "Sen. Paul you don't know what you are talking about."
Fauci (in private): pic.twitter.com/TMBVZNcRFX
Wegmann captioned the information in his tweet by quoting Paul’s questions for Fauci during Senate hearings on the subject and Fauci’s dismissal of concerns.
In 2014, the United States government placed a temporary ban on gain-of-function research, stating, “In light of recent concerns regarding biosafety and biosecurity, effective immediately, the U.S. Government (USG) will pause new USG funding for gain-of-function research on influenza, MERS or SARS viruses, as defined below.”
Then in 2018, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health associate news director Karen Feldscher reported on the United States’ decision to lift its ban on gain-of-function research.
She noted concerns “that human error could lead to the accidental release of a virus that has been enhanced in the lab so that it is more deadly or more contagious than it already is.”
“There have already been accidents involving pathogens,” she added.
A bill to prohibit colleges and other research facilities from receiving federal research grants for gain-of-function work was introduced to the Senate in 2021 by Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kans.) but was never voted on.