During a Thursday committee hearing, Senator Rand Paul attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci. He called on the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head to resign after Fauci refused admitting that his agency had funded gain-of function research.
At a hearing of Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, Fauci stated that unless you take responsibility, we are not going to be able to stop another laboratory leakage of this dangerous experiment. It is dangerous. You don't want to admit it, so I believe it is time for you to resign.
In an Oct. 20 correspondence, Lawrence Tabak, National Institutes of Health's Deputy Director, admitted that his agency had funded gain-of function research in China. In the letter, the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance stated that it failed to inform the institute about dangerous lab-generated chimeric coronaviruses that were produced between June 2018 and May 2019.
Paul brought Fauci's attention to the letter and quizzed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head on gain-of function research. This is a process where researchers can create chimeric viruses in a laboratory to study a response.
Paul then asked Fauci if EcoHealth Alliance had taken the virus SHC-014 from nature and combined it with WIV1. This created a recombinant viral strain that made mice sickermice with humanized cell. Are you saying that this is not gain-of function?
Fauci didn't give a yes/no answer but started to say "According to the framework" before Paul interrupted.
Fauci repeated his disagreement with Paul's comments. He stated that the funding for research at Chinas Wuhan Institute of Virology wasn't related to gain-of function research.
He told the Kentucky lawmaker that he disagreed with many of your statements.
Paul reminded Fauci that gain-of function is a vague term. Paul also reminds him that Tabak had sent the letter that admitted that EcoHealth Alliance was involved with gain-offunction research in Wuhan. The NIH then removed the gain of function definition from their website.
Fauci stated that he could get back to it in a split second if we had the time.
Senator Fauci claimed that Fauci is trying to eliminate gain-of function research by claiming it doesn't exist.
Paul stated that this is a terrible situation. You are trying to avoid the fact that there should be an action taken to stop a pandemic from spreading from a laboratory.
This is a strong indication that it came from a laboratory. You have done nothing but change the definition of your website to try and cover your ears. You did exactly that. To try and have a new definition, you changed the website. We won't move forward unless you accept that it is risky. This research is risky. They have been rebuked by the [National Institutes of Health]. They were rebuked by your agency. You are unwilling to acknowledge that they gained function even though they claim they got sicker. They also gained in lethality. It's a new virus. This is not gain-of function?
Fauci replied to the current definition.
He said that he was not willing to accept any responsibility for the current pandemic. I am not responsible for the current pandemic.
No. 2. You said that the overwhelming evidence suggests it is a laboratory leak. He continued. Most card-carrying molecular virusologists would disagree with your assertion that it was more likely than not, even though all options are open, that this was a natural event.
Fauci then said, "Fauci, after an interruption by Paul, you made a statement just a second ago that was completely incorrect. You stated that we continue to support research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology."
Paul claimed that Fauci had approved support of the Wuhan Institute of Virology for August 2020. Fauci countered, "No, your statement said quoteI wrote it down" You continue to support research at Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Paul retorted, interrupting Fauci.
Senator Paul, I have given Dr. Fauci permission to respond, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), told Paul.
Murray said, "You've had your time," but Paul replied, "If he is going be dishonest, then he should be challenged."
Senator Paul, Dr. Fauci will respond to your accusations after she has made them.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported in May 2016 that two of Fauci's subordinates raised concerns that U.S. taxpayer money might be used to finance gain-of function experiments at Wuhan Institute of Virology. According to the publication, Fauci staffers have since dropped their concerns after EcoHealth Alliance dismissed their concerns.
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