In a recent turn of events, Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky has made an "official criminal referral" to the Department of Justice regarding Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). This referral stems from an email exchange between Fauci and British medical researcher Jeremy Farrar, which has raised concerns about gain-of-function research and the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The crux of Senator Paul's argument lies in a newly unredacted email from February 2020, in which Dr. Fauci shared details of a call with Jeremy Farrar and other scientists. During the call, concerns were raised about the unusual mutations in the virus that seemed unlikely to have occurred naturally in bats. The suspicion intensified due to the fact that scientists in Wuhan were known to be conducting gain-of-function experiments on bat viruses.
"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." - Dr. Anthony Fauci
This revelation contradicts Dr. Fauci's previous statements denying any funding of gain-of-function research. Senator Paul alleges that Fauci intentionally lied during committee hearings, leading him to submit a criminal referral to the Department of Justice.
During a heated exchange between Senator Paul and Dr. Fauci in July 2021, Paul reminded Fauci that lying to Congress is a federal crime. Fauci vehemently denied ever lying before Congress and dismissed Paul's accusations, stating that Paul didn't understand the context of the research. Fauci also denied that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded gain-of-function research.
"I have never lied before Congress, and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you are referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain of function." - Dr. Anthony Fauci
However, Senator Paul presented evidence from a scientific paper that described the creation of new viruses that can infect humans by combining bat coronavirus spike genes with a SARs-related backbone. This research was reportedly funded by the NIH, as indicated by the grant number listed in the paper.
To understand the crux of the disagreement between Senator Paul and Dr. Fauci, it is important to define gain-of-function research. Gain-of-function refers to scientific research that aims to enhance the transmissibility or pathogenicity of a virus. According to the NIH's definition, gain-of-function research involves increasing the transmissibility among mammals.
Senator Paul argued that the manipulation of animal viruses in the Wuhan lab to make them more transmissible to humans constitutes gain-of-function research. Dr. Fauci, on the other hand, maintained that the research described in the paper referred to by Senator Paul did not meet the NIH's definition of gain-of-function.
The origins of the COVID-19 pandemic have been a subject of intense debate and investigation. The outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, China, prompting speculation about the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the possibility of a lab leak.
While the exact origins of the virus remain uncertain, the suspicion of intentional manipulation and the potential involvement of gain-of-function research have fueled further scrutiny. Calls for a thorough investigation into the origins of the pandemic have grown louder, with Senator Paul's criminal referral to the Department of Justice being the latest development in this ongoing saga.
The allegations made by Senator Rand Paul and the subsequent criminal referral have significant implications for the scientific community, public health, and the credibility of Dr. Anthony Fauci. If proven true, the intentional manipulation of viruses and the potential cover-up would have far-reaching consequences.
Public trust in scientific research and the institutions involved, such as the NIH, could be severely undermined. Additionally, questions about transparency, accountability, and the potential dangers of gain-of-function research need to be addressed to prevent future mishaps and ensure the safety of global health.