Over the last week, the term “gain-of-function research” has dominated headlines, and for good reason. It’s the type of research that a growing number of experts believe could have contributed to the rise of COVID-19, the viral disease that wrecked the global economy and killed millions in just a year’s time.
At the center of the gain-of-function controversy is the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci — and now, one Fox News host says he has footage that will sink the NIAID chief once and for all.
Speaking Sunday, Fox’s Steve Hilton said both Fauci and the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Francis Collins, have been dishonest about their involvement in funding gain-of-function research in China and beyond.
“Tonight we have something new, something big. Something that proves Fauci lied to Congress,” Hilton said, according to Fox. “We will shortly broadcast irrefutable evidence that Fauci lied about funding gain-of-function experiments. Not his emails, but Fauci on video from nearly nine years ago.”
“Lie and lie and lie”
Hilton held nothing back as he excoriated Fauci — who also serves as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser — during his Sunday show. “Over the past few weeks,” Hilton said, “we’ve seen Dr. Fauci and his boss Dr. Collins lie and lie and lie again over their potential role in the origin of the pandemic.”
The Fox host went on to recall special investigations conducted by his show earlier in the year that he claims revealed overwhelming evidence that Fauci hasn’t been truthful about his organization’s role in the pandemic from the start.
“If you followed our special investigations since January, you know they’re lying,” Hilton asserted, according to Fox. “We’ve shown you the evidence and you know that each time we presented that evidence the NIH press office denied our reports by saying that the bat coronavirus experiments commissioned by Fauci and Collins in the Wuhan Institute of Virology were not gain-of-function.”
Hilton then played for his audience a clip of Fauci speaking at a conference in 2012. There, he said, Fauci can clearly be heard strongly advocating for gain-of-function research in great detail.
— The Next Revolution (@NextRevFNC) June 7, 2021
A conspiracy no more?
Hilton must have felt an immense sense of vindication during Sunday’s show, as he has been widely ridiculed by many in the mainstream media for his belief that COVID-19 emerged from a lab in Wuhan, China.
In a report from Jan. 26 of this year, Business Insider mocked Hilton for suggesting that Fauci played some role in the pandemic’s origins. The outlet’s headline made their stance clear: “Fox News pundit Steve Hilton pushed a ridiculous conspiracy theory that Dr. Fauci is behind the coronavirus.”
Months later, a number of media outlets have already begun the process of backtracking on their previous assertions that the “lab leak theory” was nothing more than alt-right conspiracy talk, especially as new evidence has emerged suggesting that the NIH — which oversees Fauci’s NIAID — was a partial source of funding for gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. And this is only the beginning.