Senator Rand Paul slammed COVID tsar Dr. Anthony Fauci after the National Institutes of Health finally admitted to funding gain of function research on bat coronaviruses in it’s Wuhan laboratory – despite Fauci’s denials to congress that any such research took place.
Paul had confronted Fauci earlier this year of lying about the NIH’s involvement in coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a claim Fauci fought back against, calling Paul a liar.
The senator had also faced public backlash for attack Fauci, who serves as a director for the NIH’s Institute of Infectious Diseases, and who enjoyed a status of popularity as the nation’s expert on COVID-19.
Paul told Fox News that while he did feel validated after the new revelation was made on Thursday, the news should focus on a push for the US to end dangerous gain of function research projects.
‘This is a civilization-ending kind of research. This research could release something that could destroy civilization,’ Paul said.
He ultimately accused Fauci of lying and intentionally ‘parsing words’ so as to never fully admit that gain of function experiments could have been happening in Wuhan with grant monies from the NIH.
‘His declination is this: it’s inadvertent, we didn’t know they were going to gain function. That is what a gain of function experiment is,’ Paul said.
‘You don’t know when you combine two viruses that they will be more deadly, but it might be if you have half a brain you know if you combine two viruses it might be more deadly’
Sen. Rand Paul, picture, confronted Dr. Anthony Fauci in May and demanded the COVID tsar tell the truth about gain of function testing at the Wuhan Institute of Virology
Fauci, pictured, denied that any such research took place, but the National Institute of Health admitted that its grant monies were used in Wuhan for gain of function testing
As for his feud with Fauci, the Kentucky senator said he and other lawmakers have already referred Fauci to the Justice Department for investigation.
However, Paul noted that he was not expecting much from Attorney General Merrick Garland, who he said was too busy going ‘after moms complaining about what they are teaching in school.’
He was referring to plans to consider parents protesting school board meetings on issues such as critical race theory and transgenderism as ‘domestic terrorists,’ and set the FBI on them.
The admission came in a letter addressed Kentucky congressman James Comer on Wednesday, in which NIH’s principal deputy director Lawrence A. Tabak refers to a ‘limited experiment’ conducted to test if ‘spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model,’ at the Wuhan lab.
According to Tabak, the mice infected with the modified bat virus ‘became sicker’ than those infected with the unmodified bat virus.
NIH’s principal deputy director Lawrence A. Tabak admitted to funding gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses in it’s Wuhan laboratory
In a new letter, NIH’s principal deputy director Lawrence A. Tabak (pictured) says lab rats were infected with the modified bat virus in the Wuhan lab in China
‘As sometimes occurs in science, this was an unexpected result of the research, as opposed to something that the researchers set out to do,’ Tabak said.
While never using the term, Tabak essentially confirms that gain of function research, which looks at both transmitting disease between animals and humans and is a way for scientists to alter organisms and diseases to study how they could become deadlier or more transmissible, took place at the Chinese lab despite consistent denials from Dr. Fauci.
The letter shifts the blame to U.S non profit EcoHealth Alliance, which used NIH money to fund research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, for not being transparent about the kind of research they were doing.
‘EcoHealth failed to report this finding right away, as was required by the terms of the grant,’ Tabak wrote in his letter. ‘EcoHealth is being notified that they have five days from today to submit to NIH any and all unpublished data from the experiments and work conducted under this award.’
In response to the letter, Paul, who has been widely mocked and dismissed for adopting the theory early on that COVID could have originated in the Wuhan lab and leaked from it, tweeted: ‘I told you so’ doesn’t even begin to cover it here.’
Fauci has testified on several occasions before Congress that American taxpayers never financed what is called ‘gain of function’ research in China – which would make a virus more contagious or deadly.
In May, Dr. Fauci (pictured) testified that the NIH ‘has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology’
The blame was placed on EcoHealth Alliance, which used NIH money to fund research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,(pictured) for not being transparent about their research
In May, Fauci testified that the NIH ‘has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.’
What is Gain of Function research?
Gain of Function Research (GOF) is a controversial practice that involves altering a virus or pathogen in order to study the development of new diseases and their transmission.
Scientists conducting GOF research modify naturally occurring viruses to make them more infectious so that they can replicate in human cells in a lab.
This allows the virus’s potential effects on humans to be studied and better understood. GOF has been considered controversial due to its inherent biosafety risks.
In 2014, the Obama administration imposed a moratorium on GOF which included halting funding for projects, however, this decision was overturned three years later by the National Institute of Health (NIH).
On May 25, 2021, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci defended funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology through a $600,000 grant given to the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance, to study whether bat coronaviruses could be transmitted to humans.
He said the research was essential, pointing out that the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s was eventually traced back to bats.
However, Fauci claimed that under the terms of the funding, scientists were not to use the money on Gain of Function research.
However, Fauci also said during that hearing that there was no way to know if Chinese scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology lied and conducted gain of function experiments on bat coronaviruses using U.S. tax dollars.
‘There’s no way of guaranteeing that,’ Fauci said at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, responding to a question from Republican Sen. John Kennedy.
‘But in our experience with grantees, including Chinese grantees, which we have had interactions with for a very long period of time – they are very competent, trustworthy scientists,’ Fauci testified.
Then in July Dr. Fauci lashed out at Senator Paul during a Senate hearing as he accused the Kentucky Republican of being a ‘liar’ who ‘doesn’t know what you’re talking about’ when it comes to COVID origins and gain-of-function research.
‘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 the NIH [National Institutes of Health] never funded gain of function research in Wuhan?’ Paul asked of the nation’s top immunologist and Joe Biden’s top COVID advisor.
‘Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress and I do not retract that statement,’ Fauci shot back in the heated exchange on Capitol Hill during a Senate Health Committee hearing.
In September, The Intercept revealed it had received 900 pages of documents detailing the work of EcoHealth Alliance’s research in Wuhan, China.
In its first report on the documents, The Intercept highlighted two previously unreported EcoHealth Alliance grant requests that were funded by the NIH.
One of the grants included $599,000 to go to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to ‘identify and alter bat coronaviruses likely to infect humans,’ The Intercept said.
Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University, told The Intercept that the documents suggest researchers were creating novel coronaviruses in Wuhan.
‘The viruses they constructed were tested for their ability to infect mice that were engineered to display human type receptors on their cell,’ Ebright told The Intercept after reviewing the documents.
He said the documents showed that two different types of novel coronaviruses were able to infect humanized mice.
‘While they were working on SARS-related coronavirus, they were carrying out a parallel project at the same time on MERS-related coronavirus,’ he said.