Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has requested that Attorney General Merrick Garland criminally investigate Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, after accusing him of lying to Congress.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has repeatedly said that the National Institutes of Health did not fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but Paul claims that this is a lie.
"I write to urge the United States Department of Justice to open an investigation into testimony made to the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions by Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on May 11, 2021," Paul wrote to Garland in the referral, which was obtained by the Washington Examiner.
He also said that a 2017 paper on experiments done at the lab that cited an NIAID award also included research "in which the spike genes from two uncharacterized bat SARS-related coronavirus strains, Rs4231 and Rs7327, were combined with the genomic backbone of another SARS-related coronavirus to create novel chimeric SARS-related viruses," and said "these experiments combined genetic information from different SARS-related coronaviruses and combined them to create novel, artificial viruses able to infect human cells."
Paul and Fauci recently clashed over this issue during a hearing before Congress last Tuesday, where the senator asked Fauci about his previous statement and said, "as you are aware it is a crime to lie to Congress."
Fauci responded, "I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you are referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain-of-function."
Paul then asked, "When you take an animal virus and you increase its transmissibility to humans, you’re saying that’s not gain-of-function?"
Fauci said, "That is correct, and Sen. Paul, you do not know what you are talking about."
The senator said, "They’re gain-of-function viruses because they were animal viruses that became more transmissible in humans, and you funded it. You won’t admit the truth."
Fauci replied, "If anyone is lying here, senator, it is you. This has been evaluated multiple times by qualified people to not fall under the gain-of-function definition. I have not lied before Congress."
The medical doctor later told Fox News on Friday, "yes, we had somewhat of a confrontation of Sen. Paul because of the, I think, inflammatory statements I think he made about lying, but where do you come off talking about criminal things and conspiring?"
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