Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) called on the National Institutes of Health, demanding that the organization retain all communications and any other documents in Dr. Anthony Fauci‘s possession as his retirement looms closer.
Paul issued a letter — the contents of which were first published by The Daily Caller — to the NIH, asking that they preserve all records, e-mails, electronic documents, and data that Fauci may have created or shared while at the NIH. Paul asked that they take special care to preserve any data or communications relating to COVID or to any coronavirus-related research conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) while Fauci held the top spot.
“In light of this announcement, I formally request you ensure the preservation of all documents and communications within Dr. Fauci’s possession related to his tenure at the National Institutes of Health (NIH),” Paul wrote upon learning of Fauci’s upcoming retirement from government employ.
“This information is critical to ensure that Congress has access to information necessary to conduct proper oversight regarding events that took place during Dr. Fauci’s tenure with the agency. Specifically, I request you preserve all records, e-mail, electronic documents, and data created by or shared with Dr. Fauci during his tenure at NIH that relate to COVID-19 including, but not limited to, NIAID-funded coronavirus research. This preservation request also includes all records of official business conducted on non official accounts,” he added.
Paul and Fauci have consistently been at odds over the federal government’s response to the pandemic — and Fauci’s role in supporting and potentially funding the kind of gain-of-function research that Paul and a number of others believe may have sparked the spread of COVID via a lab leak.
Once Fauci announced his plan to leave the federal government later this year, Paul made it clear that he was not finished seeking answers from the nation’s top doc — and he said that retirement would not “protect” Fauci from investigation, should it come to that.
Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) appears to be on the same page as Paul, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday that if Republicans take back either the House or the Senate in 2022, Fauci is likely to face some questions.
As Kennedy put it, Fauci was likely to spend “a lot of time in front of a congressional committee” unless he were to “seek asylum in some foreign country whose Powerball jackpot is 287 chickens and a goat.”
Sen. John Kennedy says that if Republicans take back Congress, unless Fauci "decides to seek asylum in some foreign country whose Powerball jackpot is 287 chickens and a goat," he will "be spending a lot of time in front of a Congressional committee." pic.twitter.com/E3RbOAA9mk
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) August 23, 2022