Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told Newsmax that if Republicans can win a Senate majority in 2022, he would lead the committee responsible for determining COVID-19's origins.
''We want to take over in 2022 when we're in charge of the committees, [and] if I'm a committee chairman, I promise you we will subpoena every last record. We'll get to the bottom of why and what [Dr. Anthony Fauci] did cover up the origins of the virus, what he did to protect the Chinese. We'll get to the bottom of it,'' Paul said on ''Eric Bolling: The Balance.''
But ''there are still records they won't give us and that are redacted.'' The most important one, Paul added, ''was a conference call he had'' with ''his buddies, most of his scientific friends'' who told Fauci that ''it looks like the virus came from the lab.'''
According to a report from The Intercept, released Wednesday, ''the day before the [Feb. 1, 2020] call, Scripps Research infectious disease expert Kristian Andersen had warned Fauci that the virus may have been engineered in a lab, noting that he and several other high-profile scientists 'all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.'
''The scientists agreed to have a conference call the next day. 'It was a very productive back-and-forth conversation where some on the call felt it could possibly be an engineered virus,' Fauci told Alison Young, writing for USA Today, in June 2021.''
But ''in that meeting,'' Paul said, ''somehow he convinced them to publish a letter that he edited a week or two later saying, 'oh, no way it came from the lab.'''
''And then, a month later, he publishes another one that he reviews, by allies of his also, that says, 'if people contradict us if anyone opposes us, they are a conspiracy theorist.' This is a real problem. This is not a scientist. This is a Machiavellian political operative who has risen to the top and has too much power, and it's gone to his head.''
The Intercept added that ''though the paper was publicly embraced by the scientific community and the mainstream media, [former National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins] worried that its impact wasn't sufficient.
'''Wondering if there is something NIH can do to help put down this very destructive conspiracy,' Collins wrote on April 16, 2020, in reference to a Fox News segment on the lab-leak theory. 'I hoped the Nature Medicine article on the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 would settle this. But probably didn't get much visibility. Anything more we can do?'''
''I would not do anything about this right now,'' Fauci responded. ''It is a shiny object that will go away in times.''
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