After they got into a fight, Paul wants criminal charges.
Paul agues that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded so-called “gain of function” research—a process involves enhancing a virus in a lab to study its potential impact in the real world—at a lab in Wuhan.
In a stern response, Fauci said: “Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about.” The the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director also told the Senate hearing that the research Paul referred to “was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain-of-function.”
NIH and NIAID have said they supported grants to research viruses in bats and mammals, but had never approved any grant supporting gain-of-function research on coronaviruses that would have increased their transmissibility or lethality for humans.
However Paul doubled down on his accusations on Fox News, telling anchor Sean Hannity that under Fauci’s leadership the NIH “funded the Wuhan lab” and that “he has at least tangential responsibility” for the severity of the pandemic.
“I will be sending a letter to the Department of Justice, asking for a criminal referral because he has lied to Congress,” he told Hannity on Tuesday night.
“We have scientists that will line up by the dozens to say that the research he was funding was gain-of-function,” Paul said, accusing Fauci of trying “to cover his tracks and to cover his connection to Wuhan lab.”
Paul added that there is “still some conjecture as to whether or not [Covid-19] came from the lab,” but insisted Fauci was “lying” about funding gain-of-function research and “should be punished.”