Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been at the forefront of questioning not only the U.S. government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic but also the origins of the deadly virus that wreaked havoc across the world.
The Kentucky Republican received a standing ovation in the Senate chamber this week after his amendment passed that bans the taxpayer funding of “gain of function” research in China, TheBlaze reported.
SENATE: The Senate chamber erupts into cheers after an amendment proposed by @RandPaul that bans US funding of gain-of-function research in China is passed by unanimous voice vote pic.twitter.com/8fQ6hAWpuW
— Forbes (@Forbes) May 25, 2021
What’s going on?
Paul has been particularly critical of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), for the potential role that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had in sending U.S. taxpayer-funded grant money to further “gain of function” virus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
In a recent Senate debate, Paul pushed Fauci on the possibility that the COVID-19 virus was a result of “gain of function” research at the Wuhan lab, which is a type of research that seeks to alter viruses to increase their transmissibility and virulence.
“Sen. Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely, entirely and completely incorrect,” Fauci replied to Paul at the time, according to The Hill. “The NIH has not ever, and does not now, fund ‘gain of function research’ in the Wuhan Institute.”
Paul later responded to Fauci’s denial, claiming in a statement that “ample evidence” exists — mostly from other scientists in the community — “that the NIH and the NIAID, under his direction, funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
Early on in the pandemic, Fauci insisted that the COVID-19 virus emerged from “natural” origins — a claim that Paul has repeatedly contested, citing the fact that “thousands” of animals from a Wuhan market-tested negative for the virus.
Earlier this week, Fauci dropped an absolute bombshell, admitting to PolitiFact’s Katie Sanders at a recent event that he is no longer “convinced” that COVID-19 was from a natural occurrence, adding that he now believes the Wuhan lab theory should be investigated, The Hill reported.
“I am not convinced about that. I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened,” Fauci said when asked if he still believed the virus developed naturally.
According to CNBC, there are now increased calls from Republicans that Fauci be terminated over his constantly evolving messaging on the origins of a virus that left so many Americans dead while crippling the U.S. economy.
While we might not learn of the true origins of the virus for some time, if it turns out they’re in any way connected to “gain of function” research in a Wuhan lab, Fauci will undoubtedly be thrust into boiling hot political and legal water.