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June 5, 2024 Agency Capture COVID News

Agency Capture

Rand Paul Rips Fauci Testimony: NIH ‘More Secretive than the CIA’

In an appearance on The Hill’s “Rising,” Sen. Rand Paul took aim at Dr. Anthony Fauci’s testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Monday, suggesting Fauci contradicted known facts about how the NIH responded to the pandemic.

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In an appearance on The Hill’s “Rising” on Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took aim at Dr. Anthony Fauci’s testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Monday.

Paul addressed Fauci’s responses, suggesting they contradicted known facts about how the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — the agency Fauci led for 38 years — and its parent agency, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“NIH is actually more secretive than the CIA, and that’s alarming and disturbing and really should not be tolerated,” Paul told co-hosts Robby Soave and Briahna Joy Gray.

Paul addressed Fauci’s efforts to distance himself from his longtime aide David Morens, who in emails boasted that he could evade Freedom of Information Act requests by deleting any potential “smoking guns.”

Paul criticized gain-of-function research, which he said occurred under Fauci’s leadership of NIAID, and called for it to be banned. He also suggested COVID-19 emerged from a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China in late 2019.

Paul’s interview came on the heels of revelations that the NIAID received $690 million of $710 million in NIH royalty income between 2022 and 2023.

It also came days after the release of the transcripts of Fauci’s two-day closed-door House interview in January and a House memorandum with key takeaways from that interview.

Paul has long been a critic of Fauci. In October 2021, he claimed Fauci was “spreading mistruths.” In August 2023, he said Fauci committed perjury and called on the U.S. Department of Justice to launch an investigation. In October 2023, he accused Fauci of leading the “great COVID cover-up.”

Paul calls for ‘further scrutiny or prosecution’

Paul told Soave and Gray that “one of the most surprising things” about Fauci’s testimony on Monday “was how quickly he threw his aide under the bus,” referring to Morens.

“Morens has worked for 20 years for Anthony Fauci, and in his opening statement, [Fauci] says [he] barely knew the guy,” Paul said. “Essentially, they’ve thrown David Morens to the wolves now.”

Paul said that Morens’ testimony, in which he “admitted that he destroyed evidence, that he deleted emails” and “was a personal courier and that he could take personal messages to Anthony Fauci’s house,” contradicted Fauci’s statements and is grounds for an investigation.

“His testimony directly conflicts with what Anthony Fauci said yesterday, who said he never used private email, never used a private phone,” Paul said. “And so, really I think there needs to be further investigation to find out who’s telling the truth here. If that doesn’t warrant further scrutiny or prosecution, I don’t know what does.”

Paul suggested that the subcommittee call back Morens for more questioning, “because Anthony Fauci essentially … called David Morens a liar.”

“Does … Morens wish to correct the record? Does he wish to discuss more completely what was going on with Anthony Fauci? Because Anthony Fauci basically disowned him yesterday,” Paul said.

Paul calls for ban on gain-of-function research

The House’s 17-page memo suggested that “Fauci played semantics with the definition of Gain-of-Function [GoF] research” during his January interview, finding that “Fauci intentionally avoided stating that NIAID funded GoF research on coronaviruses in Wuhan, China, by asserting that GoF is a nuanced term.”

Paul agreed with this assessment. Addressing Fauci’s Monday testimony, Paul said Fauci claims “it wasn’t gain-of-function” because “it never met the regulatory definition of the safety committee,” also known as the P3CO committee.

According to Paul, “The problem with that line of argument … is that Anthony Fauci never submitted the Wuhan research to the Safety Committee. So he can say we’re using that definition, but the committee never considered it. There was never any consideration about the safety committee of whether this was gain-of-function.”

Paul said he has been asking NIH for the past three years to provide him with evidence that the research conducted in Wuhan was not gain-of-function, but “the NIH will not reveal that to me.”

Citing the dangers of gain-of-function research, Paul called for it to be banned:

“There’s a whole group of scientists that have been debating this for over a decade, well before COVID, and many of them say that this type of research has not produced a vaccine, has not produced useful information, but that the risk greatly outweighs the knowledge that comes from this.

“We need to be treating this as something equivalent to nuclear weapons in the sense that there needs to be negotiations between countries. There needs to be, the civilized countries coming together and signing bans on this type of research.”

Paul also suggested that the gain-of-function research in Wuhan did not meet international safety standards and that Fauci has long known that such research posed a risk.

“He said in 2012 that yes, a pandemic could occur from a lab leak. If it did though, that the knowledge gained would be worth the risk,” Paul said.

“One of the emails we got through federal court order says that if they find out they’re doing this in China in a BSL-2 [biosafety level 2], which is a lower category of safety than is required, people will freak out. That’s the words from some of the researchers going back and forth between North Carolina, China and Peter Daszak, who is the bagman collecting all the taxpayer money for this,” Paul added.

The House memo noted that Fauci acknowledged, during January’s testimony, that the lab leak “is not a conspiracy theory” — an acknowledgment he repeated during Monday’s hearing.

Despite evidence of Fauci’s knowledge of gain-of-function research and a lab leak, acknowledged by members of Congress from both parties, the U.S. Department of Energy, The New York Times and the Biden administration in its recent action against Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance, Monday’s hearing “felt partisan again,” Soave noted.

“I can only surmise that there is such a love for central authority and such a love for government being in charge of healthcare, that they see Anthony Fauci as representing central authority, the authority on healthcare that they see it as an attack on government, whereas I see it as an attack on his judgment,” Paul said.

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Fauci ‘refused to admit’ he ‘oversold the power of COVID-19 vaccines’

According to the House memo, “Certain consequential COVID-era policies lacked supporting scientific evidence” — such as 6-foot social distancing policies and mask mandates. The report noted that “Fauci testified he did not recall any supporting evidence for masking children.”

Fauci acknowledged this at Monday’s hearing.

According to the memorandum, Fauci also “refused to admit that the government — including himself — oversold the power of COVID-19 vaccines,” “defended President Biden’s misleading vaccine statements” and “refused to walk back his 2021 statement that COVID-19 vaccines make you ‘a dead end to the virus.’”

Fauci continued his defense of the COVID-19 vaccines at Monday’s hearing, claiming they saved “many, many, many lives” while blaming the unvaccinated for causing 200,000-300,000 American deaths.

Watch Paul’s interview here:

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