WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has announced he intends to send a letter to the Justice Department regarding a criminal investigation of Dr. Anthony Fauci after he alleged that President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor lied to Congress.
The Republican maintains that Fauci was not truthful with Congress when he denied allegations that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had funded gain-of-function research at a laboratory in Wuhan, China, the location of the initial COVID-19 outbreak in 2019.
“I will be sending a letter to Department of Justice asking for a criminal referral because he has lied to Congress,” Paul said Tuesday evening on Fox News’ “Hannity” program. “We have scientists that were lined up by the dozens to say that the research he was funding was gain-of-function.”
Paul and Fauci have a history of butting heads; most recently, during a hearing on the new Delta variant of COVID-19 held on Tuesday, Paul opened up his questioning of Fauci by informing him that lying to Congress is a violation of federal law that is punishable with up to five years in prison.
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“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 gains-of-function research in Wuhan?” Paul asked.
“I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement,” Fauci replied. “You do not know what you are talking about quite frankly and I want to say that officially.”
The hearing only went downhill from there, with the two adversaries trading barbs and accusing one another of “lying” about gain-of-function research conducted in Wuhan, with claiming that the research conducted at the lab did not fall under the definition of gain-of-function, which is medical research that alters an organism or disease in a way that increases pathogenesis, transmissibility, or host range.
Paul countered Fauci’s claim, quoting a molecular biologist at Rutgers University – Dr. Richard Ebright – that the “research matches, indeed epitomizes the definition of gain-of-function research.”
“You’re trying to obscure responsibility for 4 million people dying around the world from a pandemic,” Paul said, a statement that seemed to infuriate Fauci.
The bone of contention between Paul and Fauci is in the form of a grant that was bestowed by the NIH upon EcoHealth Alliance at the direction of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Fauci heads up. From there, EcoHealth used the grant to fund research at the Wuhan lab in question, which NIH insisted “was not gain-of-function research.”
During his interview on Fox Tuesday evening, Paul reiterated his stance that Fauci has broken the law with his sworn testimony.
“I will be sending a letter to the Department of Justice asking for a criminal referral, because he has lied to Congress,” Paul said.