Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., grilled coronavirus czar Anthony Fauci on Tuesday about the pandemic’s origins and the US funding of the Wuhan lab that many suspect was responsible for unleashing it, Fox News reported.
Although Fauci disputed allegations that he had a direct role in causing the pandemic, he conceded under pressure that it was possible the official narrative was a lie and that China might have engineered the virus at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The US funding of the lab, linked to the Fauci-run National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, surreptitiously continued until April 2020, a month after COVID’s arrival prompted then-president Donald Trump to declare a national emergency.
American taxpayers reportedly shelled out at least $7.4 million on the institute’s risky and highly controversial projects—including research that specifically studied the transmission of coronaviruses from bats to humans.
The funding continued despite a three-year US moratorium on the research, with some speculating that it offered American scientists access to programs that the Chinese could potentially use to create biological weapons.
CHINA DID IT!
The left-wing media and political establishment continue to ignore the alarming evidence linking Fauci to the creation of the deadly virus that turned him into America’s most powerful un-elected bureaucrat.
However, during recent Senate hearings, Paul—a medical doctor by trade—has hammered Fauci about both his motives and his clinical wisdom in managing the health crisis.
On Tuesday, the Kentucky conservative finally sought a straight answer about Fauci’s role in supporting the Wuhan research.
“[P]erhaps it would be irresponsible to send [funding and research] to the Chinese government that we may not be able to trust with this knowledge and with this incredibly dangerous viruses,” Paul said.
Fauci—a longtime defender of “gain of function” research that attempts to mutate animal-borne diseases into highly contagious human strains, ostensibly to find a cure—petulantly denied Paul’s insinuation.
“The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” he maintained.
But Paul dug in, challenging Fauci to make a clear statement on the virus’s origins.
“Will you, in front of this group, categorically say that the COVID-19 virus could not have occurred by serial passage in a laboratory?” Paul asked.
Fauci refused to rule out the possibility. Instead, he deflected any blame for it onto the Chinese government.
“I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done, and I’m fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China,” he said.
POWER AND ‘PRIVILEGE’
From the very beginning of the outbreak, China has actively sought to cover up the disease’s origin and impact, whether for face-saving or financial motivations.
Trump blamed the country’s communist-controlled government for costing the world precious hours of preparation time by downplaying the spread when it might otherwise have been contained.
But Democrats—who now control of both Congress and the White House—have delivered a lackluster response, opting largely to follow Fauci’s ever-changing advice rather than investigate the real source of the problem.
Compounding the drama over COVID’s origins, President Joe Biden recently tagged Jeffrey Zients—one of his 2020 campaign managers—to be the administration’s head COVID-19 response coordinator.
Although the political appointee has no background in medicine whatsoever, Zients previously sat on the board of big corporations including Facebook, which continues to deny all possibility of a lab origin and has actively censored posts that promote it.
Zients parroted the Biden administration’s Pollyannish outlook during an appearance Monday on CNN, saying that “the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter and brighter.”
He also echoed Biden’s promise to reward Americans for their unquestioned compliance by eventually allowing them the “privilege” of removing their masks at some unspecified future time.
“Let’s keep up our guard,” Zients said. “Let’s follow the CDC guidance. And the CDC guidance across time will allow vaccinated people more and more privileges to take off that mask.”
Fauci, however, hinted this week that even if the pandemic does reach its long-awaited herd immunity, he might endorse resurrecting the masks on an annual basis to help mitigate flu season.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.