Republican Senator Rand Paul lagged behind Dr. Anthony Fauci in a radio interview Wednesday, claiming he had invested in a Wuhan lab leak theory that was discredited because the US funded some of the lab research.
Paul claimed the country’s top infectious disease expert had an “incestuous relationship” with Dr. Peter Daszak, a British zoologist whose nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance sent US funding to the Wuhan lab, and the scientists who work there.
‘It’s all so incestuous’, Paul told Tom Roten with WVHU, a local radio station in Kentucky. ‘It’s a small group of people. Fauci is at the forefront of this and really if we want to investigate this lab and find out how we can prevent this, Fauci can’t be part of this research.”
sen. Rand Paul was out with new criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci, pushing for a theory that Fauci wants the Wuhan lab leak theory discredited because the US funded some of the lab research
sen. Rand Paul claimed that Dr. Anthony Fauci (left) had an “incestuous” relationship with Dr. Peter Daszak (right), whose nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance sent US funding to the Wuhan lab, and the scientists who worked there
sen. Rand Paul, along with former President Donald Trump, have based the theory that the COVID-19 pandemic started as a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology
Paul is one of the most outspoken Fauci critics, claiming that Fauci’s emails prove that the doctor is lying about whether the Wuhan lab conducted so-called “function gain” research — which would make a virus more contagious or deadly.
Last week, Fauci testified before Congress that there was no way of knowing whether Chinese scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were lying and conducted experiments on bat coronaviruses using US tax dollars.
“There’s no way to guarantee that,” Fauci said during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Wednesday, answering a question from Republican Senator John Kennedy.
“But in our experience with beneficiaries, including Chinese beneficiaries, with whom we have been interacting for a long time, they are very competent, reliable scientists,” Fauci testified.
Paul, as well as former President Donald Trump, have based the theory that the COVID-19 pandemic began as a Wuhan-based lab leak — and not a naturally occurring animal-to-human transmission that started or grew from a Wuhan wet market.
A number of Republicans have expressed outrage that the National Institutes of Health gave $3.4 million to the EcoHealth Alliance from 2014 to 2019 and $600,000 of that to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
With a large number of Fauci’s emails now public, got one from Daszak thanking Fauci for rejecting the theory that COVID-19 was leaking out of the institute.
“I wanted to personally thank you on behalf of our staff and associates for standing up publicly and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 through a bat-to-human overflow, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” Daszak wrote.
“From my perspective, your comments are courageous, and if they come from your trusted voice, they will help dispel the myths swirling around the origin of the virus,” he wrote to Fauci in April 2020.
Fauci replied, “Thank you very much for your kind note.”
That correspondence shocked Paul, who pointed out that Daszak was one of the members of the World Health Organization team investigating the origins of COVID-19.
“If they ask for an investigation, who do they put in charge? But this Peter Daszak, who is friends with Fauci, who privately thanks him in emails for covering up the Wuhan leak,” Paul lamented.
The Kentucky Republican also said Daszak cannot be part of any investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
“Or one of these people who are part of this close group of friends because they have a reason to cover it up because they funded the lab,” Paul said.
Despite Daszak’s association with the WHO, the organization didn’t close the door on the Wuhan leak theory, just saying it was the least likely.
“While the team has concluded that a lab leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, possibly with additional missions with specialized experts, which I am willing to deploy,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on March 30, when The WHO report on the origins of COVID-19 became publicly available. “Let me state clearly that as far as the WHO is concerned, all hypotheses remain on the table.”
Paul also claimed that some of Fauci’s emails showed he was “very concerned” about some gain-of-function investigation, although it wasn’t immediately clear which emails the Kentucky Republican was talking about.
Paul called those messages a “red herring.”
A request for comment from Paul’s office was not immediately answered.
On Wednesday, Fauci said his emails are “really ripe to be taken out of context.”
Where someone can cut a sentence out of an email without showing the other emails and say, ‘based on an email from Dr. Fauci he said so-and-so, ‘where you don’t really have the full context,’ the doctor said.