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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is demanding answers from Dr. Anthony Fauci on the purported National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) funding of gain-of-function research, according to a new report.
“Paul submitted 11 ‘yes or no’ questions for Fauci to answer in a letter to Senate HELP Committee chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and ranking member Richard Burr, R-N.C, last week,” Fox News reported.
“The American people deserve to know how this pandemic started, to know if the NIH funded dangerous gain-of-function research that may have caused this pandemic, and to remove from office anyone, such as Dr. Fauci, who let this happen,” Paul told Fox News Digital in a Monday email.
“In these questions, I am demanding simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers that aim to get us closer to the truth about the origins of COVID-19,” he said.
Among his questions, Paul asks Fauci about NIH gain-of-research funding, including a grant that provided funds for “bat SARS-related coronaviruses to EcoHealth Alliance with a subcontract to the Wuhan Institute of Virology” (WIV).
Paul also asked if Fauci was “prepared to retract your previous false testimony” he gave the Senate committee “if he answered in the affirmative to any of the 11 questions,” Fox reported.
“Thank you for your diligence in obtaining answers to members’ questions,” Paul wrote in the Jan. 18 letter. “Please inform my staff when answers to these questions have been received.”
Paul and Fauci, the top U.S. immunologist and chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, have clashed repeatedly. Earlier this month, in a fiery session before the Senate Health Committee, Fauci claimed Paul’s accusations about COVID-19 and the government’s handling of the pandemic have caused harassment.
“What happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue is that all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there and I have threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls, because people are lying about me,” Fauci told the panel.
At one point, Fauci brandished some literature he claimed came from Paul’s office that called for his firing.
Fauci went on to personally attack the senator. “In usual fashion, senator, you are distorting everything about me,” Fauci said. “This happens all the time, you personally attack me, with absolutely not a shred of evidence about anything you say.”
Paul, for his part, said Fauci’s charge was irresponsible.
“It’s disappointing for you to suggest that people who dare to question you are responsible somehow for violent threats,” Paul said.
“Anyone who dares to question Fauci’s smear campaign against other scientists is accused by Fauci of fomenting violence. As someone who actually was the target of semiautomatic gunfire by a Bernie Sanders supporter, I never once accused Senator Sanders of being responsible for the attack and I resent Fauci avoiding the question by ginning up the idea that his opponents are the cause of threats,” Paul told The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to [email protected].