GOP Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul kept the receipts from when Dr. Anthony Fauci insisted to Congress that the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases didn’t fund gain-of-function research. He intends to use them.
During a Thursday appearance on Fox Business, Paul said Fauci should receive a prison sentence for “lying” during his testimony to the Senate this summer, although he doesn’t “have a lot of hope” Attorney General Merrick Garland would be “objectively looking” at his testimony.
Here at The Western Journal, we’ve been taking an objective look at Fauci’s changing story regarding what the NIH funded at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as well as the possibility the virus leaked from there — and we’ve been covering it since back when Big Tech was suppressing any serious questions regarding the lab-leak hypothesis. You can help us fight Big Tech’s pernicious influence on journalism that doesn’t fit their narrative by subscribing.
“We’ve referred him to the Department of Justice, but then again, Merrick Garland is the one now going after parents that go to school board meetings,” Paul said.
“So I don’t have a lot of hope that Merrick Garland is objectively looking at Fauci’s lying,” Paul continued, followed by a blistering 12-word statement about the NIAID director: “Fauci should go to prison for five years for lying to Congress.
“They have prosecuted other people. They have selectively gone after Republicans, but in no way will they do anything about him lying. But he should be prosecuted for lying,” Paul said.
He added that, “at the very least,” Fauci should be “taken out of position because I think he cost people lives through misinformation.
“Every time he tells people, ‘Oh, wear a cloth mask,’ he is actually endangering people. If you are around someone with COVID, you don’t want to wear a mask, because they don’t work.”
Paul is not a believer in cloth face masks, as you might have gathered; this got him suspended from his YouTube account in August, as NBC News noted, because he said they were ineffective. This rests on the iffier side of the fence — but the idea Fauci should be held to account for his testimony before the Senate on two separate occasions decidedly isn’t.
Questioning Fauci during a hearing on May 11, Paul said that “government authorities — self-interested in continuing ‘gain of function’ research — say there’s nothing to see here … ‘Gain of function’ research, as you know, is juicing up naturally occurring animal viruses to infect humans.
“To arrive at the truth, the U.S. government should admit that the Wuhan Virology Institute was experimenting to enhance the coronavirus’s ability to infect humans,” he continued, referring to NIH grants given to an organization called EcoHealth Alliance, which worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, on coronavirus research.
“Sen. Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect,” Fauci said, adding the NIH “has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
At the time, the Louisville Courier-Journal said Paul was “echoing speculation put forth in conservative media.” Forbes, meanwhile, said Paul was making “unsubstantiated claims about the link between a Wuhan, China lab, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the origin of Covid-19.”
When Fauci testified before Congress in July, the situation was markedly different, with a Wall Street Journal report indicating the NIH had funded coronavirus studies at the WIV that constituted gain-of-function research. Still, Fauci held his ground.
“Dr. Fauci, as you are aware, it is a crime to lie to Congress. … On your last trip to our committee on May 11, you stated that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Paul said.
“Dr. Fauci, knowing 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 in Wuhan?” the senator asked, warning Fauci it was “a felony and a five-year penalty for lying to Congress.”
“Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement,” Fauci responded. “This paper that you’re referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain-of-function.”
He went on to accuse Paul of not knowing basic scientific terminology: “Sen. Paul, you do not know what you’re talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about,” Fauci said.
After this scrum, there weren’t as many outlets willing to call this outright misinformation. This turned out to be a wise move; less than two months later, documents obtained by left-of-center outlet The Intercept via a Freedom of Information Act request indicated EcoHealth Alliance had done work funded by the NIH that the U.S. government describes as “gain-of-function research of concern.”
How has Fauci responded to this? As much as possible, he hasn’t — although that didn’t stop Paul and other prominent Republicans, like Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, from calling for him to be held to account.
Fauci struck back by claiming he “represents science” — all of it, apparently — and claiming Paul and Cruz were the ones who broke the law due to the Capitol incursion of Jan. 6.
“They’re really criticizing science, because I represent science,” Fauci told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” in an interview aired last Sunday. “That’s dangerous. To me, that’s more dangerous than the slings and the arrows that get thrown at me. I’m not going to be around here forever, but science is going to be here forever. And if you damage science, you are doing something very detrimental to society long after I leave.”
After proclaiming himself the incarnation of capital-S Science, he hurled the Jan. 6 retort at Cruz:
Ever wanted to see a prominent 80-year-old epidemiologist — who’s arguably become, over the past 18 months, the most powerful unelected bureaucrat since World War II — resort to the “I am rubber, you are glue” feint? There was your chance.
America’s COVID czar is unlikely to see the inside of a courtroom for lying to Congress, sadly, particularly with Attorney General Garland at the helm of the Department of Justice. It’s interesting, however, to watch the progression of the sainted Dr. Fauci on gain-of-function research.
In May, he expressed absolute certainty that the NIH had never funded it. In August, he said the research Sen. Paul was referring to wasn’t really gain-of-function research. In November, meanwhile, his argument is that he represents science and … um, what about Jan. 6? Yeah, how about the Capitol riot, hmm?
The progressive degeneration of Fauci’s defense ought to clue you in on just how factual it is.