An incensed Dr. Anthony Fauci called Senator Rand Paul’s accusation that he was lying about gain-of-function research funding “inflammatory” and “slanderous” during an interview with MSNBC host Ari Melber on Wednesday’s edition of “The Beat.”
Fauci’s charges against Paul follow an explosive Senate hearing where the senator stated, “Dr. Fauci, as you are aware, it is a crime to lie to Congress.” That led to a slugfest where Paul eviscerated Fauci over whether the U.S. National Institutes of Health had funded a grant for gain-of-function research at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and what responsibility he should bear for the pandemic. Both men called each other liars during the exchange.
Melber pointed out that Fauci’s reaction to Paul was “a major contrast to most of your public speaking,” and then asked him, “What was so important or concerning to you about that?”
“You know, I don’t any take great pleasure, Ari, in clashing with the senator. I have a great deal of respect for the institution of the Senate of the United States. But he was completely out of line. He totally distorted reality. And he made some inflammatory and I believe slanderous remarks about lying under oath, which is completely nonsense. I mean, and some of the things he says are so distorted and out of tune with reality, I had to call him on that. I didn’t enjoy it, but I had to do that because he was completely out of line. Totally inappropriate,” Fauci self-righteously claimed.
(Video Credit: MSNBC)
Following the fiery clash, Paul announced on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Tuesday that he is planning on writing a letter to the Department of Justice asking for a criminal referral for Fauci allegedly lying to Congress while under oath concerning the funding.
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Paul has repeatedly insisted that Fauci funded gain-of-function research in the Wuhan lab in China. That research ostensibly manipulated viruses to make them deadlier and more transmissible. The Wuhan lab is strongly suspected of being the source for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fauci has confirmed that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funded research at the lab. But, in what appears to be a game of semantics, he is adamantly claiming that the money was not directed towards gain-of-function research.
Paul has made it crystal clear that he does not believe Fauci.
“We have scientists that will line up by the dozens saying the research he was funding was gain of function,” he told Hannity. “He is doing this because he has a self-interest to cover his tracks and to cover his connection to Wuhan lab. Now does he deserve all the blame? No, there’s still some conjecture as to whether or not it came from the lab. But he is lying about whether or not he funded gain-of-function research, and yes, he should be punished.”
The senator is laying the blame for the millions of deaths from the global pandemic right at Fauci’s feet. He accused the epidemiologist of orchestrating a coverup of his role in funding the Wuhan lab.
“Once the public figures out that they were doing very, very dangerous research there, gain-of-function research, taking dangerous animal viruses and making them transmissible to humans, he realizes where the blame is going to attach,” Paul stated. “He has at least tangential responsibility. If this came from the lab that he was funding, my goodness, could you imagine the moral culpability that the man has?”
Fauci stated towards the end of his interview on MSNBC that personal freedoms should be put aside due to the pandemic.
“We have a virus, Ari, that has killed 600,000 Americans since the beginning of this outbreak. This is the most devastating disease and infectious disease from a respiratory virus that we’ve had in 102 years. You know, times change. Sometimes you gotta say, ‘liberties aside’ and I’m not, I’m not an anti-libertarian person where we say we just want to take away everyone’s liberties, but sometimes you gotta face the reality of what you’re looking at. We have an outbreak that is ongoing now for a year and a half and it’s killed more Americans than any other infectious disease in such a very long period of time,” he contended.
Fauci’s comments follow his voiced support for universal masking in schools whether children are vaccinated or not. He told CBS This Morning that the recommendation of universal masking in schools is “the extra step of caution.” Then he confusedly stressed that “99.5 percent” of the deaths due to COVID-19 in America are among unvaccinated individuals.
(Video Credit: CBS This Morning)
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