Top Republicans on the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees are demanding that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, explain prior comments that the lawmakers suggest may contradict sworn testimony that he gave to Congress.
The issue in question centers around whether U.S. taxpayer money was sent to fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), the Chinese lab that officials believe may have been where the coronavirus originated from.
In a letter obtained by the Daily Caller, Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan wrote to Fauci about remarks that he made in 2012 and 2014.
The letter states:
House Republicans remain concerned about the origins of COVID-19, including the increasing possibility it originated and subsequently leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China.
At a 2012 conference entitled “Gain-of-Function Research on HPA1 H5N1 Viruses,” you said, “[w]hat historically investigators have done is to actually create gain-of-function by making mutations, passage adoption, or other genetic techniques, such as reverse genetics.”
In 2014, you, through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded EcoHealth Alliance, Inc. (EcoHealth) a grant entitled “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.” This grant allowed EcoHealth to “[t]est predictions of [coronavirus]…transmission…using reverse genetics…” Funds from this grant were subsequently awarded to the WIV. Using your own definition, it appears the NIH funded gain-of-function research at the WIV.
On May 11, 2021, while testifying under oath, you stated, “[t]he NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the [WIV].” This appears to contradict your 2012 statement regarding gain-of-function research and the WIV.
Can you please confirm the authenticity of the 2012 video accessible on the YouTube platform? Further, please verify that the 2014 grant description is accurate and explain the apparent discrepancy in your recent testimony?
The Committee on Oversight and Reform is the principal oversight committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and has broad authority to investigate “any matter” at “any time” under House Rule X. Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this inquiry.
Fauci has responded to the criticism that he is receiving by repeatedly appearing on MSNBC where he has claimed that the criticisms were “really very much an attack on science.”
“What’s happening now, is very much an anti-science approach,” Fauci claimed. “I mean, it is what it is, I’m a public figure, I’m going to take the arrows and the swings, but they’re just, they’re fabricated. And that’s just what it is … it’s all nonsense.”
“It is important to understand that, but it is being approached now in a very vehement way, in a very distorted way, I believe by attacking me,” he claimed, later adding that he believes that he has “become the object of extraordinary … completely inappropriate, distorted, misleading and misrepresented attacks, which, you know, it is what it is, but it’s happening. And that’s unfortunate.”