Multiple scientist have contradicted Dr. Anthony Fauci’s statement that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had never funded gain-of-function research during a congressional hearing investigating the outbreak’s origins and gain-of-function study.
“Dr. Fauci’s statements to the public, the press, and policy makers have been untrue on numerous occasions. I don’t know why those claims are being made since they are clearly untrue,” Richard Ebright, a microbiologist at Rutgers University, told Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) during a hearing Wednesday. “I’m not sure what kind of message it sends when an NIAID director tells lies over and over again.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), one of the committee’s top voices, declared on Wednesday afternoon that this paradox, supported by the other witnesses, was “the most damning” thing to emerge from the hearing – the first in which Congress has examined how gain-of-function research affects human health (a technique in which scientists may combine viruses to create a “chimeric” virus for the purpose of studying a response).
“I was told straight to my face, and the quote is right from Dr. Fauci: They had never funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan before,” Paul said as he left the hearing, referring to Fauci’s May 2021 statement that “the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
“That is not true,” Paul stated. “I think that’s a big deal because the first hearing we had where scientists who study this stuff in real life completely disagree with him and say the research was gain-of-function and the NIH paid for it.”
The witnesses at today’s hearing called for a greater degree of oversight over gain-of-function research. Dr. Steven Quay, the founder of Seattle-based Atossa Therapeutics Inc., referred to “the work of this committee” as being “vital to protecting the American people and, really, the world at large from future manmade pandemics.”
Paul has previously called on Fauci to step down from his position over the agency’s refusal to acknowledge that it financed such hazardous research.
“Until you accept responsibility, we won’t get close to preventing another lab leak of this hazardous sort of experiment. You won’t acknowledge that it’s dangerous, and because of your poor judgment, I believe it’s time you step down.” The Kentucky Republican said in November to Fauci.