Several scientists contradicted Dr. Anthony Fauci’s previous claims that the National Institutes of Health never provided funds for gain-of-function research during a congressional hearing examining the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk research procedure.
“The statements made on repeated occasions to the public, to the press and to policymakers by the NIAID director, Dr. Fauci, have been untruthful. I do not understand why those statements are being made because they are demonstrably false,” Rutgers University microbiologist Dr. Richard Ebright said Wednesday, responding to a question from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO).
The contradictions led Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to proclaim they were the most “damning” thing to come out of the hearing, the first one that actually examined what role gain-of-function research — a process by which researchers stitch viruses together to make them more contagious so they can study the spread and responses — may have played in the pandemic.
“I was told directly to my face, and the quote is there from Dr. Fauci, they had never ever funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan,” Paul told The Daily Wire as he left the hearing, making a reference to the Biden administration chief medical adviser’s May 2021 assertion that “the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
“All three witnesses contradicted that,” Paul continued. “I think that’s a big deal because the first hearing we have had where scientists who actually look at this information [and], as informed as he is, completely disagree with him and say that the research was gain-of-function and the NIH paid for it.”
Paul has called out Fauci in the past over his testimony and has also suggested that he could be charged with lying to Congress by the Justice Department. He has also pressed Fauci to resign.
“Until you accept responsibility, we’re not going to get anywhere close to trying to prevent another lab leak of this dangerous sort of experiment,” Paul told Fauci in November. “You won’t admit that it’s dangerous, and for that lack of judgment, I think it’s time that you resign.”
The Daily Wire adds:
The witnesses at Wednesday’s hearing called for significantly greater oversight of gain-of-function research. Dr. Steven Quay, the founder of Seattle-based Atossa Therapeutics Inc., warned that “the work of this committee is critical to protecting the American people and, really, the world at large, from future manmade pandemics.”
In a March column for Fox News, the Kentucky Republican described a plan to eliminate Fauci’s position and distribute his authorities to three new, separate department heads as he blasted the NIAID boss’ handling of the pandemic.
“The toll of COVID doesn’t stop there. We lost more than individuals. We lost our freedoms. Our liberties. Our vibrant small town Main Streets. Our children’s growth and learning. For two years our lives were held captive by petty tyrants and power-hungry bureaucrats,” Paul wrote.
“We’ve learned a lot over the past two years, but one lesson in particular is that no one person should be deemed “dictator in chief.” No one person should have unilateral authority to make decisions for millions of Americans,” he added.
“To ensure that ineffective, unscientific lockdowns and mandates are never foisted on the American people ever again, I will introduce an amendment to eliminate Dr. Anthony Fauci’s position as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and divide his power into three separate new institutes,” Paul wrote.