Dr. Fauci is responding to the verbal beatdown Senator Rand Paul gave him on the Senate floor on Monday. Appearing on MSNBC, Fauci lashed out at the “inflammatory” and “slanderous” remarks that he says were “out of line.”
“I don’t take any pleasure in clashing with a senator,” Dr. Fauci said, adding that Paul was “completely out of line” and “made some inflammatory and, I believe, slanderous remarks about lying under oath.”
On Monday, the Kentucky senator had warned the doctor about the criminal implications of lying to Congress, before confronting him on evidence that NIAID had indeed funded ‘gain of function’ research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
“Dr. Fauci, as you’re aware, it is a crime to lie to Congress,” Senator Paul said. “Section 1001 of the U.S. Criminal Code creates a felony and a five-year penalty for lying to Congress.”
“On your last trip to our committee on May 11th, you stated that the NIH has not ever and has not now funded gain of function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Paul continued. “And yet, gain of function research was done entirely in the Wuhan Institute by Dr. Shi and was funded by the NIH.”
“I’d like to ask unanimous consent, insert into the record that Wuhan virology paper entitled ‘Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses’,” he continued. “Please deliver a copy of the journal article to Dr. Fauci. In this paper, Dr. Shi credits the NIH and lists the actual number of the grant that she was given by the NIH. In this paper, she took two bat Coronavirus genes, spike genes, and combined them with SARS-related backbone to create new viruses that are not found in nature. These lab-created viruses were then to show to replicate in humans.”
“These experiments combined genetic information from different coronaviruses that infect animals, but not humans, to create novel artificial viruses able to infect human cells,” Paul added. “Viruses that in nature only infect animals were manipulated in the Wuhan lab to gain the function of infecting humans. This research fits the definition of the research that the NIH said was subject to the pause in 2014-2017, a pause in funding on gain of function.”
Later on in the hearing, Fauci accused Paul of not knowing what he is talking about.
“So you take an animal virus and you increase the transmissibility to humans, you’re saying that’s not gain of function?” Paul asked.
“Yeah, that is correct,” Fauci continued. “And Senator Paul, you do not know what you’re talking about, quite frankly. And I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about.”
The hearing ended with Senator Paul and Dr. Fauci accusing each other of lying. On Monday night, Dr. Paul announced that he would be seeking a criminal referral with the Department of Justice in a complaint about Fauci lying to Congress about the gain-of-function funding.