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Rand Paul Accuses Fauci of Lying to Congress about Gain-of-Function Research Funding

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Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies during a U.S. Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing at the Capitol, Washington, D.C., September 23, 2020. (Graeme Jennings/Reuters)

Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) and Dr. Anthony Fauci again clashed over alleged U.S. government funding of gain-of-function research on bat coronavirus in Wuhan, China, during testimony before a Senate committee on Tuesday.

Paul implied that Fauci misled Congress during May testimony, in which Fauci said the U.S. had never funded gain-of-function projects at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Gain-of-function research involves making viruses more contagious or deadly in a laboratory.

Paul said that in May 11 testimony, Fauci “stated that the NIH has never and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. And yet, gain-of-function research was done entirely in the Wuhan institute by Doctor Shi [Zhengli] and was funded by the NIH.”

Paul cited a paper by WIV scientists entitled “Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirus”, which describes efforts to produce “chimeric” coronaviruses, i.e. altered by man. The paper explicitly lists the NIH as a source of funding, and Paul asserted that the research recorded in the paper “explicitly matches the definition of gain-of-function research.”

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