Fauci continues to deny that the government has funded “gain-of-function” research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Sen. Rand Paul has been a frequent critic of Fauci’s, believing that he played a role in the spread of Covid-19 by funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Paul pressed Fauci on the theory that the novel coronavirus was created in the Wuhan lab, and then somehow escaped, either because of an accident or because it was deliberately released.
“The facts are clear. The NIH did fund gain of function research in Wuhan despite your protestations,” continued Paul, claiming that Fauci’s “persistent denials … are not simply a stain on your reputation but are clear and present danger to the country and to the world.” Paul told Fauci at the Thursday hearing.
Then Sen. Paul went on to accuse Fauci of changing the definition of gain-of-function, saying:
“There’s the preponderance of evidence now points towards this coming from the lab and what you’ve done is change the definition on your website to try to cover your a–“. Fauci denied the Senator’s accusations, including the accusation that the NIH is still supporting research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Sen. Paul pressed him further, saying “You won’t admit that it’s dangerous. And for that lack of judgment, I think it’s time that you resign”.
After the spread of Covid-19, a hypothesis emerged that Covid-19 was spread in a lab in Wuhan while conducting gain-of-function research. The “lab-leak hypothesis” has gained traction in recent months, leading to President Biden opening an investigation into the theory.
Early on in the pandemic, much of the scientific community discounted the theory, with the WHO saying it was “extremely unlikely”.
In recent months, evidence has mounted that Chinese scientists pressured the WHO to write the theory off. During an investigation in to the origins of Covid-19, prominent WHO scientist Peter Embarek stated that the Chinese scientists refused to discuss the lab leak theory unless it was discounted in the final report.