Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) went to town on Dr. Anthony Fauci Tuesday during a Tuesday hearing in front of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.
Paul alleged that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had used a middle-man to funnel money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology via EcoHealth Alliance - which worked with the lab on bat coronavirus projects.
Paul specifically referenced so-called "gain-of-function" research which in this case has been focused on how to make animal viruses more transmissible to humans - specifically bat coronaviruses.
"Government scientists like yourself who favor gain of function research," Paul began...
...only to have Fauci interject "I don't favor gain of function research in China," adding "You are saying things that are not correct."
Paul pushed back - continuing:
"[Those who favor gain of function] say that COVID-19 mutations were random and not designed by man."
"I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done," Fauci shot back, adding that he's in favor of further investigation, but that the NIH had nothing to do with the origins of COVID-19.
"We have not funded gain of function research on this virus in the Wuhan Institute of Virology," he added.
"No matter how many times you say it, it didn’t happen."
More from Sen. Paul via Twitter:
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!— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 11, 2021
"And we need to stop hunting for new exotic diseases in the wild, shipping them back to laboratories, and hot-wiring their genomes to prove how dangerous to human life they might become." https://t.co/N2Cnhk5Xde— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 11, 2021
“If the virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory,” said Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. https://t.co/AfwIKqMNbi— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 11, 2021
Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson is calling for an investigation into Fauci over NIH links to the Wuhan lab.
During Monday night's show, Carlson suggested that Fauci allowed the virus to happen by "exploiting a loophole that allowed him to fund research at the Wuhan Lab that likely became COVID-19."
And as we noted in March, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) - headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, "had funded a number of projects that involved WIV scientists, including much of the Wuhan lab's work with bat coronaviruses."
In 2017, Fauci's agency resumed funding a controversial grant without the approval of a government oversight body, according to the Daily Caller. For context, in 2014, the Obama administration temporarily suspended federal funding for gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses. Four months prior to that decision, the NIH effectively shifted this research to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) via a grant to nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance, headed by Peter Daszak.
The NIH's first $666,442 installment of EcoHealth's $3.7 million grant was paid in June 2014, with similar annual payments through May 2019 under the "Understanding The Risk Of Bat Coronavirus Emergence" project.
Notably, the WIV "had openly participated in gain-of-function research in partnership with U.S. universities and institutions" for years under the leadership of Dr. Shi 'Batwoman' Zhengli, according to the Washington Post's Josh Rogin.
Perhaps there are a few more questions we need to be asking Fauci.