According to The Hill, gain-of-function research is “a controversial form of study that involves boosting the infectivity and lethality of a pathogen.”
During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Paul noted a journal article that claimed the (NIH) provided a grant to a lab in Wuhan, China that conducted research on coronaviruses to “create new viruses that are not found in nature,” which “were then shown to replicate in humans.”
He went on to claim that work “fits the definition of the research that the NIH said was subject to the pause in 2014 to 2017, a pause in funding on gain-of-function.”
He asked the infectious disease expert, “Dr. Fauci, knowing that 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?”
“Sen. Paul, I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement,” Fauci responded. “This paper that you’re referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain-of-function.”
Paul interrupted to which Fauci shot back, “Let me finish!”
However, the Kentucky senator pressed on, “You take an animal virus, and you increase its transmissibility to humans, you’re saying that’s not gain-of-function?”
“That is correct,” Fauci said.
He continued to lay into Paul, “Sen. Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially. You do not know what you’re talking about.”
Watch the video below:
WATCH: Complete exchange between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Senator @RandPaul.
Dr. Fauci: "Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about." pic.twitter.com/2wFbAxicI2
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 20, 2021
Paul continued to claim that the research conducted in the Wuhan lab constituted gain-of-function research and claimed Fauci was “dancing around this because you’re trying to obscure responsibility for 4 million people dying around the world from a pandemic.”
“If the point that you are making is that the grant that was funded as a sub-award from EcoHealth to Wuhan created SARS-COV-2, that’s where you are getting,” Fauci began to respond.
Paul interrupted as he said, “We don’t know… but all the evidence is pointing that it came from the lab, and there will be responsibility for those that funded the lab, including yourself.”
“I totally resent the lie you are now propagating, senator. Because if you look at the viruses that were used in the experiments that were given in the annual reports that were published in the literature, it is molecularly impossible,” Fauci said.
However, Paul pushed back, claiming that no one was alleging those viruses created in the Wuhan lab caused COVID-19. Instead, he said he was just stating that the NIH funded gain-of-function research.
Fauci said as the exchange wound down, “You are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individuals. I totally resent that. And if anybody is lying here, senator, it is you.”
Fauci has previously denied that the NIH funded gain-of-function research.
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