Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Thursday said that Dr. Anthony Fauci has “moral culpability” in connection with the outbreak of the coronavirus in China.
Paul has severely criticized Fauci for underplaying what’s known as gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in which Fauci was reportedly involved. Gain-of-function research involves taking a naturally occurring virus and making it stronger as a step to developing a vaccine for the virus.
On Thursday, during an appearance on the Fox News show “The Ingraham Angle,” Paul told host Laura Ingraham that newly released emails of Fauci’s which show connections between Fauci and the Wuhan lab “paint a disturbing picture — a disturbing picture of Dr. Fauci from the very beginning, worrying that he had been funding gain-of-function research — and he knows it to this day, but hasn’t admitted it.”
Paul said that currently, Fauci is protected by a partisan shield in Congress.
“We have to get Democrat counterparts that will actually use the committee hearings to investigate this. But so far, it’s been such a partisan support for Dr. Fauci that he can do no wrong,” he said.
Paul said it is time to look at the facts.
“But really, there’s a lot of evidence that he has a great deal of conflict of interest and that if it turns out this virus came from the Wuhan lab, which it looks like it did, that there’s a great deal of culpability and that he was a big supporter of the funding,” he said.
“But he also was a big supporter, to this day, of saying we can trust the Chinese on this, we can trust the Chinese scientists. And I think that’s quite naive, and really should preclude him from the position that he’s in.”
The Kentucky senator noted that Fauci is having trouble keeping his story straight.
“Two weeks ago in committee hearing, he said they did not find any gain-of-function research. I quoted that specific paper,” Paul said.
“So the very paper that he puts in the email, he says, ‘Oh my goodness, we need to read this paper because we — it looks like we are actually funding gain-of-function research, which is where we juice up these viruses, take them from animals and infect them into humans.’ He’s admitting that to his underlings. He’s worried about this in February of last year.”
“But only two weeks ago he tells me, ‘Oh, it wasn’t gain-of-function research,’ but in his email, in the subject line, he says, ‘Gain of function research.’ He was admitting it to his private underlings, seven, eight, nine months ago,” he added.
Ingraham then asked Paul if there was “criminal culpability here.”
“At the very least, there’s moral culpability. In the research done by the bat scientist in Wuhan, she gives him credit. She lists the exact NIH grant with a 10 numeral disclaimer or ID number, listing the money and thanking the NIH for the money. It’s clearly gain-of-function,” he responded.
Paul said the type of research being performed was inherently dangerous.
“There are several scientists who are in this field — cellular biologists — they all say that taking a SARS virus and adding an S protein to it to make it infect human cells, that is the very definition of gain-of-function. It’s very dangerous. We shouldn’t be doing it here or there. But Dr. Fauci has denied it to this day, but the private emails show that he was acknowledging that it was gain-of-function. Nobody was questioning it,” he said.
Paul added that the evidence needs to be investigated by experts.
“The scientific community needs to look at this, because he hides behind this veil of the lab coat that nobody can question him. And I believe and by looking at the evidence that it absolutely was gain-of-function research, and he was funding it. And to this day, he’s still saying you would do it again, because he trusts the Chinese scientist,” he said.
Prompted by Ingraham, Paul also noted that the timing of allowing gain-of-function research was suspicious.
“So the NIH realized that gain-of-function was dangerous. They banned it for three years. And then right before Donald Trump becomes president, they allow it again,” Paul said.
“They start granting exemptions, all approved by Dr. Fauci, the committee’s secret. They won’t let you know everybody on the committee, but you know Dr. Fauci knows who’s on the committee and reviews this stuff. But then they also allowed some of the research in Wuhan not to go before the committee.”
“So yes, there’s something rotten in Denmark, and somebody needs to get to the bottom of this,” he said. “But it can’t include Tony Fauci investigating himself. It’s got to be an independent bipartisan commission.”
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