Rand Paul: Fauci’s gain-of-function conspiracy and why I’ll continue to hold him, his allies accountable

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Rand Paul: Fauci’s gain-of-function conspiracy and why I’ll continue to hold him, his allies accountable

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In January, I asked Dr. Anthony Fauci a pretty basic question: “Do you really think it’s appropriate to use your $420,000 salary to attack scientists that you disagree with?”

Given Dr. Fauci’s theatrical outburst and deflection in response to my question, I think I hit a nerve.

Answering that question truthfully, which he is legally compelled to do when speaking before Congress, would have meant illuminating the deceitful game he and National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins have been playing about COVID’s origins and their support of the type of dangerous research that could have led to the pandemic.

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How ironic that the frantic efforts by Fauci and Collins to label esteemed scientists as “fringe” and “conspiracy theorists” for daring to suggest that COVID came from a lab was actually a sinister conspiracy of their own.

They diligently worked with Peter Daszak, the president of EcoHealth Alliance – which was a recipient of NIH funds to study bat coronaviruses and the potential risks to humans at a lab located in China – to discredit those who deign to question their conclusions. This triumvirate of gain-of-function research cheerleaders worked with their allies to, in the words of Collins, “take down” scientists from Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford for simply considering the merits of a lab leak theory.

Why such aggressive behavior toward their scientific colleagues? One reason is that their gain-of-function research, funded by your tax dollars, was at stake. Dr. Fauci has been a longtime supporter of this type of research. Gain-of-function research is conducted by taking a known virus and conducting experiments to create new viruses that are not found in nature.

Our government’s bureaucrats brutally squashed any attempt to discover the truth of the origins of the virus

Despite Dr. Fauci’s ducking and dodging when I’ve asked him about his funding of gain-of-function research in China, we have the receipts. 

The agency Dr. Fauci heads, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), awarded a grant (Project Number 1R01AI110964-01) with a subcontract to the Wuhan Lab of Virology, where researchers combined a gene from one SARS-related coronavirus with the genetic information of another SARS-related coronavirus and constructed new coronaviruses that infected human cells. That is gain-of-function, and plenty of scientists have called it as such.

Although the exact origin of SARS-CoV-2 remains unknown, its unique structure, specifically its furin cleavage site, which has not been found in natural coronaviruses, suggests it may have been developed through dangerous research of this kind. As former New York Times science editor Nicholas Wade recently reported, at first, because of the furin cleavage site, “the virologists had little doubt that the virus bore the fingerprints of manipulation.”

RAND PAUL CONTINUES PRESSING FAUCI FOR ANSWERS ON NIH GAIN-OF-FUNCTION FUNDING

And this wasn’t the first time our government had heard about something like a furin cleavage site inserted into a coronavirus. In 2018, the Wuhan Lab submitted a proposal to DARPA to do just that, and the proposal was denied because of the danger of increasing human infectivity.

To be clear, the virologists consulted in the early days of the pandemic immediately thought the lab leak theory was credible, and the lab where it could have come from happened to be a place where they performed dangerous (U.S. funded) gain-of-function research. That same lab had previously attempted to secure funding to create a virus with a very specific attribute – which was remarkably found in the novel coronavirus. That’s not a conspiracy, those are just facts.

I do not know whether COVID-19 originated in a lab. My point is that our government’s bureaucrats brutally squashed any attempt to discover the truth of the origins of the virus because doing so conflicted with their self-interests.

While these virologists studying the virus made comments like, “I just can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature…in the lab it would be easy to generate,” and were struggling to explain the virus “as an event outside the lab,” we now know from recently released emails just how much Fauci and Collins were starting to panic.

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“The voices of conspiracy will quickly dominate, doing great potential harm to science and international harmony,” Collins wrote in an email. So, of course, despite the experts giving credible reasons as to why the virus might be manipulated by humans, he and Dr. Fauci conspired to shut them down.  

According to Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University, a teleconference on February 1, 2020 led by Fauci and Collins made clear to the virologists on the call that talking about the lab leak theory, even if based in credible science, was “politically unacceptable and something that had to be blocked.” Given the power that Fauci and Collins have to deny funding to these scientists, I’m not surprised the majority of them stayed silent.

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What ensued in the following weeks was an all-out effort to discredit and silence anyone who dared to engage with the lab-leak theory. Many of the emails have been released publicly, and I encourage you to read them.

Dr. Fauci and Dr. Collins’ conspiracy to silence these scientists and bury the lab leak theory tells us one thing – they clearly prioritize dangerous gain-of-function research at a Chinese lab and their own behinds over the health and safety of the American people.

I’ll continue my efforts to hold Fauci and his allies accountable. Gain-of-function research is too dangerous. When Republicans win the Senate, we will not only investigate the origins of the virus but also investigate whether or not we should be sending taxpayer dollars to do research that could have caused this pandemic.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM SEN. RAND PAUL
 

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