Once again, Senator Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical advisor, clashed before cameras at a Senate hearing. This time it was over accusations Paul made that implied Fauci knew that the National Institutes of Health funded research at a Wuhan Lab where the coronavirus may have originated.
Paul grilled Fauci about an NIH funded study that he says qualifies as gain-of-function research, the process of altering a pathogen to make it more transmissible in order to better predict emerging diseases. Fauci previously denied in previous Senate testimony that the NIH has directly funded the research at a lab in Wuhan, China that has come under intense scrutiny as a possible source of the virus.
During the testy exchange, which can be viewed in the clip below, Sen. Paul warns Fauci that “it’s a crime to lie to Congress” before launching into his accusations. Fauci, who oversees several NIH research programs as director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he would not retract his previous statement. “I have not lied before Congress. I have never lied. Certainly not before Congress. Case closed,” he said.
With his patience for Paul’s predictable histrionics seemingly exhausted, Fauci said this:
Watch the entire exchange below. It’s remarkable.
Fauci then said if anyone is being dishonest, it’s Paul and questioned whether he is living in reality.
Fauci still isn’t done with Rand Paul: “This is a pattern that Sen. Paul has been doing now at multiple hearings, based on no reality.” pic.twitter.com/RP9Wn4aLAd— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 20, 2021
Dr. Fauci and Senator Paul have clashed multiple times in these Senate hearings. The last time, Paul mocked Fauci wearing a mask in public even though Fauci is vaccinated. Paul, who had COVID-19 last year, says he will not get the COVID vaccine because he believes he now has immunity — even though medical experts say it’s unclear if those who have had COVID are now immune.