Sen. Rand Paul files criminal referral over Fauci, COVID origins

  • Sen. Rand Paul escalated his feud with Dr. Fauci with a criminal referral
  • Paul points to a letter he says 'contradicts' Fauci's previous testimony
  • One doctor says Paul's claims unlikely, as NIH funding is closely tracked

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(NewsNation) — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul announced an “official criminal referral” to the Department of Justice over Dr. Anthony Fauci and the origins of the COVID-19 virus.

As Paul’s public feud with Fauci, the former chief medical advisor to the president, continues, he points to an unredacted email from February 2020, where Fauci refers to a phone call with “highly credible scientists.”

These scientists “were concerned about the fact that upon viewing the sequences of several isolates of the nCov there were mutations in the virus that would be most unusual to have evolved naturally in the bats and that there was a suspicion that this mutation was intentionally inserted,” according to the email to which Paul referred.

Dr. Fauci goes on to say, “The suspicion was heightened by the fact that scientists in Wuhan University are known to have been working on gain-of-function experiments to determine the molecular mechanisms associated with bat viruses adapting to human infection, and the outbreak originated in Wuhan.”

Paul took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to say this “directly contradicts” what Dr. Fauci said in a committee hearing, “denying absolutely that they funded any gain of function.”

The exchange Paul referred to took place at a committee hearing in July 2021, after the Kentucky senator asked Fauci whether he wanted to retract previous statements.

“Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you’re referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain of function,” Dr. Fauci had said in response, adding, “Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly.”

A recent report from the Government Accountability Office shows the Wuhan Institute of Virology did receive funds from the National Institutes of Health, but it is not clear that the funding contributed to the research Paul is pointing to, or that it had anything to do with the origins of COVID.

One doctor told NewsNation that all NIH funding is closely tracked.

“The NIH has for years and years not only provided funding for research that’s done within the United States but has collaborated and actually stimulated and catalyzed research in many other countries around the world,” said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

“There are so many people who have eyes on these grants, and how those monies are expended, and the reports that the investigators have to make, that I would think any kind of cover-up couldn’t sustain itself,” Schaffner added.

Fauci declined NewsNation’s request for a comment on the situation.


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