New York Post

RAND & FAUCI CLASH China lab furor

- By MARK MOORE

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul exchanged accusation­s of lying Tuesday over claims that the Chinese lab where the COVID-19 virus is uspected to have emerged as doing “gain-of-function”

esearch with funds provided by the National Institutes of Health.

Paul (top inset) began his uestioning by reminding auci (lower) that lying to Congress is a felony, and quizzed the White House’s top medical adviser about his testimony from a May hearing in which Fauci denied that there was NIH-funded gain-of-function research con- ducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11 where you claimed that the

NIH never funded gain-of-function research and move on,” Paul (R-Ky.) asked during testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

“Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you’re referring to was judged by qualified staff, up and down the chain, as not being gainof-function,” responded Fauci, the country’s top infectious diseases expert.

But Paul broke in to say that according to the report he cited, a scientist at the Wuhan lab took an animal virus and increased its transmissi­bility to humans.

“You’re not saying that’s gain-of-function?” he pressed.

“That is correct,” Fauci said.

“Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about,” Fauci shot back, visibly annoyed.

Paul, an ophthalmol­ogist, said the definition of gain-of-function involves increasing the transmissi­bility of a virus in animals to humans. “They took animal viruses that only occur in animals and they increased their transmissi­bility to humans,” Paul said, referring to scientists at the Wuhan lab, as the exchange escalated in intensity.

“How you can say that is not ‘gain-of-function,’ it’s a dance, and you’re dancing around this, because you’re trying to obscure responsibi­lity for 4 million people dying around the globe because of the pandemic,” Paul said.

Fauci responded, “I want everyone to understand that if you look at those viruses, and that’s judged by qualified biologists and evolutiona­ry biologists, those viruses are molecularl­y impossible” to result in COVID.

“And you are implying that what we did was responsibl­e for the deaths of individual­s, I totally resent that, and if anybody was lying here, Senator, it is you.”

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