Originally published August 9, 2023 8:00 am PDT
Republican Sen. Rand Paul has formally requested that Washington, D.C.’s top prosecutor look into potential perjury charges against Dr. Anthony Fauci, alleging he lied under oath about the origins of COVID-19.
Central to the debate is whether the virus was a result of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a type of study aimed at understanding virus evolution that has prompted biosecurity concerns.
Sen. Paul’s action follows his recent “official criminal referral” to the Department of Justice (DOJ) which, according to an aide, received no response from the agency.
In a letter addressed to D.C. U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves, acquired by DailyMail.com, Paul wrote, “Dr. Fauci testified that ‘the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.’ I subsequently offered Dr. Fauci a chance to correct his statements, yet he replied he had ‘never lied before the Congress’ and did ‘not retract that statement.’ However, recent evidence seems to challenge this assertion.”
Previously, Dr. Fauci, who served as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) until 2022, stated in July 2021 that his former department did not finance such research in the WIV.
However, revelations from a series of emails dated February 1, 2020, highlighted that Fauci was aware of gain-of-function activities at WIV.
One email in particular, in which he discussed a call with British researcher Jeremy Farrar and other experts, read: “scientists in Wuhan University are known to have been working on gain-of-function experiments to determine the molecular mechanisms associated with bat viruses adapting to human infection, and the outbreak originated in Wuhan.”
Interestingly, while Fauci conceded that such research took place in Wuhan, he did not confirm NIH’s involvement in funding it.
However, Sen. Paul, pointing to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), stated that the Wuhan Institute of Virology and Wuhan University did indeed receive NIH funding.
According to the GAO report, “NIH funded the WIV’s project ‘Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence’ which encompassed experiments combining bat coronaviruses with SARS and MERS viruses. This resulted in hybridized coronavirus strains.”
The report also acknowledged NIH’s funding for a collaborative project between WIV and Wuhan University related to viral detection.
FBI Director Christopher Wray, in a statement from February, shared that, “The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan.”
Additionally, various government bodies, including the Energy Department and FBI, have hinted at the possibility of the virus leaking from a lab.
Sen. Paul, referencing a paper linked to the NIH, criticized Dr. Fauci in a July congressional hearing.
He argued, “Viruses that in nature only infect animals were manipulated in the Wuhan lab to gain the function of infecting humans.”
In response to these allegations, Fauci retorted, “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” and insisted that the research in question wasn’t classified as gain-of-function.
Addressing Dr. Fauci’s role, Sen. Paul concluded, “As the former head of the NIH, Fauci was responsible for overseeing the allocation of funds for such research at WIV, and a federal watchdog found the NIH ‘did not effectively monitor’ those experiments.”