Senator Rand Paul and infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci have clashed on numerous occasions over many of the doctor’s recommendations to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. In testimony before a Senate committee on Tuesday, Paul directly accused Fauci of lying to Congress earlier this year about “gain of function” research at the Wuhan lab, where it is believed the virus may have originated.
Fauci said at a hearing in May that the U.S. had never funded gain-of-function projects at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Gain-of-function research essentially involves altering viruses to make them more contagious or deadly.
Fauci stated that the NIH has never and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. And yet, according to a scientific paper published in November 2017, “gain-of-function research was done entirely in the Wuhan institute by Doctor Shi [Zhengli] and was funded by the NIH.” Dr. Shi is known as “Bat Woman” for her work with bat coronaviruses.
“Knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress…do you wish to retract your May 11 claim that the NIH never funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan?” Paul asked Fauci.
“Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement,” Fauci answered. “This paper was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain-of-function.”
Apparently, despite making the coronavirus from horseshoe bats more transmissible at the Wuhan lab, the research does not technically qualify as “gain-of-function” research.
Fauci then began to insult Paul for his ignorance and accused the senator of lying himself.
“Senator Paul, you do not know what you’re talking about, quite frankly,” Fauci said. “And I want to say that officially. You do not know what you’re talking about.”
He added, “If anybody is lying here, senator, it is you.”
“If anybody is lying here, Senator, it is you.”
— Dr. Fauci to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). pic.twitter.com/mrEQTCHgRN
— The Recount (@therecount) July 20, 2021
“It’s a dance, and you’re dancing around this,” the senator said.
The exchange devolved into a testy exchange about whether Mr. Paul was implying that Dr. Fauci and NIH boosted research in China that may have led to the creation of the virus that causes COVID-19.
“I totally resent the lie you are now propagating,” Dr. Fauci said.
He said the viruses involved in the research raised by Mr. Paul could not result in the pathogen that caused the current pandemic.
“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is,” claimed Bill Clinton when he was lying about having sex with Monica Lewinsky. In fact, as any high school kid knows, oral sex is still sex, and Clinton was obfuscating for legal reasons.
But Fauci was obfuscating for far more sinister reasons. It’s unclear whether or not the U.S. government — specifically, the National Institutes of Health — funded the specific gain-of-function research at a Chinese lab that was conducted under the auspices of the Chinese military. This fact alone is a scandal. But Fauci’s insistence that the coronavirus that caused the pandemic was not part of that research is deliberate obfuscation and may even rise to the level of a lie.
We don’t know for sure what they were doing at the Wuhan lab with bat coronaviruses, and just because the researchers at the lab said they were looking at one kind of bat coronavirus doesn’t mean they weren’t working on another kind. The fact is, Fauci doesn’t know what research the money was funding in the Wuhan lab because at least some of it was secret.
If Fauci can’t be accused of lying, he can certainly be accused of stupidity.