On Tuesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took to the airwaves to accuse Dr. Anthony Fauci of not being transparent with regards to ties between the U.S. government and the shady virology lab in Wuhan, where some believe the Chinese coronavirus may have originated, as reported by the New York Post.
Paul’s declarations in the media came after a Senate committee hearing that same day where, in response to Paul’s questioning, Fauci claimed under oath that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIH) received no funding for its research from either the National Institute of Health (NIH) or the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
However, Senator Paul said in an interview with Fox News sometime after the hearing, evidence has since emerged that there are, in fact, such ties between the U.S. government and the controversial lab. The evidence specifically points to U.S. agencies’ funding of the Wuhan lab’s “gain-of-function” research, in the years leading up to the outbreak of the pandemic.
“There’s a famous scientist in the Wuhan lab,” Paul explained, “her name is Dr. Shi Zhengli. And she published a paper a couple years ago which has been reviewed by MIT, and says that it’s a gain-of-function research. But in the byline, she has to list the sponsors. She lists Dr. Fauci and the NIAID as a sponsor of her research, which everybody acknowledges is gain-of-function research, juicing up these superviruses.”
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) agreed with Senator Paul’s assertion in a separate interview, telling Laura Ingraham that a “deliberately evasive” Fauci was “playing word games with the American people” rather than telling the truth about these connections.
Multiple other outlets have since confirmed that there was a steady flow of funding to the Wuhan lab from various government agencies, and that some government officials tried to cover this up after the outbreak. Newsweek reported that the NIH first started funding Dr. Shi’s research in Wuhan in 2014, and specifically her work with bat coronaviruses. New York magazine subsequently reported that a deputy director from the NIH attempted to end funding of the Wuhan lab from EcoHealth Alliance in April 2020.
“If Fauci’s deputy is writing a note saying that they’re going to stop the money,” Paul added, “that implies there was money flowing to the Wuhan Institute. [Fauci] says no money was flowing to the Wuhan Institute. Well, then why was it stopped? I mean, none of this makes sense.”