WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo issued bold words on Dr. Anthony Fauci during an interview this week, stating that “he should no longer be serving in American government” due to refusing to acknowledge that he was allegedly responsible for funding a Chinese virology lab that may have actually developed – and subsequently released – COVID-19 upon the world.
Fauci, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) – one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – is accused of not being truthful by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and others when he denied allegations that the NIH had funded gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at a laboratory in Wuhan, China, the location of the initial COVID-19 outbreak in 2019.
“You’re trying to obscure responsibility for four million people dying around the world from a pandemic,” Paul said to Fauci at the hearing.
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Fauci continues to claim 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, a claim that Pompeo disputed this week while questioning Fauci’s fitness for his job.
“The entire laboratory system inside the [Chinese Communist Party] operates in a way that we would never operate in the West,” he said. “While I’m loath to describe Dr. Fauci as personally responsible [for the COVID-19 pandemic], the fact that he continues to want to direct funding there suggests he should no longer be serving in American government.”
In addition, responding to reports that Fauci is in favor of providing additional funding on bat coronaviruses in Chinese-based laboratories, Pompeo said, “That’s crazy.”
Former secretary of state is one of several high-level Republicans who have called for Fauci to be fired from his post, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
“The American people don’t have trust in Dr. Fauci,” McCarthy said during a June interview. “Let’s find a person we can trust. Take politics aside, I mean we’re talking about American lives here.”
Republicans in Congress have reportedly introduced two bills that would ban Fauci from serving in government institutions, but given the current Democratic majority in the House, they are unlikely to pass.