The cozy media wall protecting COVID Policy Czar Dr. Anthony Fauci may finally be starting to crumble. Fauci faced tough questions at a hearing last week from Senator Rand Paul concerning U.S. funding of controversial virus experiments. His unsatisfactory answers drew attention even from mainstream outlets.
Following the hearing, clear documentation from NIH and other sources surfaced that directly contradicted Fauci’s assertions.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) attempted to deny any involvement in funding “gain-of-function” research at the Senate meeting. But Paul’s interrogation provoked a bizarre response at one point by Fauci. In a single sentence, he both denied that the National Institute of Health (NIH) had funded gain-of-function research yet appeared to admit it.
The exchange went as follows (italics added):
SEN. PAUL: “For years, Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist in the U.S., has been collaborating with Dr. Shi Zhengli from the Wuhan Virology Institute, sharing his discoveries about how to create superviruses. This gain-of-function research has been funded by the NIH. … Dr. Fauci, do you still support funding of the NIH lab in Wuhan?”
FAUCI: “With all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect. The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
SEN. PAUL: “Do you fund Dr. Baric’s gain-of-function research?”
FAUCI: “Dr. Baric is not doing gain-of-function research, and if he is, it is according to the guidelines and is being conducted in North Carolina. If you look at the grant and if you look at the progress reports, it is not gain-of-function, despite the fact that people tweet that, write about it.”
Fauci’s schizophrenic statement regarding Dr. Baric drew blood, and even MSM outlets took interest. Baric collaborated with Dr. Shi Zhengli, a Chinese researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
In 2015, the scientific journal Nature featured a study by Zhengli and the WIV involving so-called “chimeric” experiments with SARS viruses. A chimera is an organism artificially created from materials of two or more natural organisms. The practical purpose of creating a chimera is to give an organism features it wouldn’t otherwise have.
Gain-of-function research was banned by the Obama administration. But some have speculated that U.S. scientists skirted the ban by funneling money to foreign labs to continue the controversial experiments.
Rutgers Scientist Tweets Out Damning Evidence
In the days following the Senate hearing, even MSM media showed interest in the contentious exchanges between Senator Paul and Dr. Fauci.
Then, on 11 May, Richard Ebright, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University, tweeted what appeared to be a documented link between WIV chimeric research and NIH funding:
“The construction of novel chimeric SARS-related coronaviruses able to infect human cells and lab animals at WIV (1) was published with an acknowledgment to NIH grant AI110964, and (2) was reported to NIH under NIH grant AI110964.”
(Source: Yahoo News)
It’s already been widely reported that $600,000 in grants were transferred via subgrants from the NIH to the WIV in the period from 2014 to 2019.
Fauci acknowledged and defended the funding at the Senate hearing while insisting it was not used for “gain-of-function” experiments. He said it would have been “irresponsible” not to fund the research, pointing out that former SARS viruses had originated in China.
Following Ebright’s tweet, some have said Fauci might be reduced to lawyerly parsing “gain-of-function” research vs. “chimeric recombination” of different strains of viruses to try to survive his denials during the Senate testimony. Though there may be some technical differences in the two experimentation processes, both take naturally occurring organisms and equip them with functions they would not otherwise have.
Fauci’s Role in Controversial Lab Experiments
The U.S. government itself considers it a settled matter that the WIV was conducting gain-of-function research in some form, said reporter Josh Rogin in Politico this March. Experts at the WHO, including Jamie Metzl, have also affirmed that the WIV performed gain-of-function research.
But speaking on the Joe Rogan podcast in April, Josh Rogin, also a columnist at The Washington Post, went further. He said Dr. Anthony Fauci was instrumental in pushing to restart funding the research after it was banned during the Obama administration:
“The Godfather of [gain-of-function virology research], the head of the pyramid, is a guy you may have heard of called Anthony Fauci. So, Anthony Fauci, the hero of the pandemic, is the most important person in the world of gain-of-function research there is… Basically, he is the one disbursing all the grants for this, he is the one who pushed to turn it back on after Obama turned it off, that’s another crazy story, he turned it back on without really consulting the White House.”
As noted by National Review, Rogin further explained:
“He consulted the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which is part of the White House, but the White House put a pause on it and he undid the pause.
The details are a little sketchy. I’m not saying he did anything necessarily wrong or illegal, but I’m saying that a lot of people that I know inside the Trump administration had no idea that he had turned this back on. He found a way to turn it back on in the mess of the Trump administration because the Trump administration is full of a bunch of clowns, so you could get things done if you knew how to work the system.”
The Senate hearing last week might well come to be seen as the moment that Fauci’s COVID authority began to crumble. Without question, it has heightened examination of his role in the COVID saga.