The Republican leadership continues to investigate the “judgment” of retired National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci, specifically his “judgment” regarding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Rand Paul, an outspoken critic of Fauci, joined America’s Report on Thursday to seek answers and discuss his accountability.
“We’re not done with him yet,” Paul said. “I think Dr. Fauci really made one of the worst judgments in the history of modern medicine and funded more than a decade of dangerous performance-enhancing research that many of us thought had inadvertently flowed out of the lab.”
FAUCI SAYS STUDYING COVID ORIGIN ‘VERY IMPORTANT’, SAYS WHAT CAN BE DONE IF LABORATORY TESTING THEORY IS BAN
Gain-of-function research often involves deliberately modifying viruses to be more pathogenic or transmissible as a means of developing ways to prevent deadly diseases. Senate Republicans say this research, which Fauci is denying National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for the Wuhan coronavirus, could lead to a lab outbreak and a global pandemic.
In 2014, the Obama administration suspended new funding for research into enhancement of function to “assess potential risks and benefits.” However, it was revived by the NIH in 2017.
In a letter sent to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in November, five Republican senators called for a new freeze on enhancement research, saying more post-pandemic risk assessments are needed.
“In the last ten years [Fauci’s] has been a proponent of function enhancement research. This debate started around 2010. He came as a staunch advocate for publishing and continuing to fund this dangerous study,” Paul told co-author Sandra Smith.
“And it was a really, really bad error in judgment, and it could have resulted in the deaths of 6 million people.”
According to government documents obtained by The Intercept, the NIH funded research to improve capacity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology during Fauci’s tenure at NIAID.
“This ties Dr. Fauci to the origin of the pandemic. His support for this type of research without adequate oversight, inadequate information, and without vetting the projects may have led to one of the greatest man-made disasters in modern history,” Paul said. .
“He needs to apologize to the American people, but he needs to start telling the truth. He’s been lying from the start.”
Fox News’ Sarah Rampf and Patrick Hauf contributed to this report.