Wuhan Institute and the origin of the virus what relationship U.S. lawmakers questioned Fauci

At a U.S. Senate hearing Tuesday (May 11) on the Chinese communist virus (coronavirus) pandemic, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) questioned Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), about the role of the Wuhan laboratory in the origin of the virus.

Fauci is in charge of NIAID, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Congressman Paul alleges that NIH has been providing funding to the Wuhan lab to genetically modify the bat coronavirus.

Fauci said that Paul’s claim is incorrect and that “NIH has never funded, and still does not fund, ‘gain of function’ (gene) research at the Wuhan Institute.”

“As previously reported by the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF), experts have said that NIH grants are used to fund scientists to conduct “gain of function” research, a risky area of research that makes SARS-like viruses The research has made SARS-like viruses more contagious.

Paul accused Fauci of working with the Chinese Communist government and supporting a lab that bioengineered a deadly virus.

Fauci said that while the NIH did fund a project at the Wuhan lab, it was not research on “genetic function acquisition” of a man-made super virus.

“Let me explain to you why (we) did this, SARS COV-1 (SARS coronavirus) originated in bats in China. It would be irresponsible of us not to investigate bat viruses and serology to see who might be infected,” Fauci said.

But Paul said it would be irresponsible to let the Chinese Communist government have this knowledge and this extremely dangerous virus.

NIH provided funding to the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, which hired a Wuhan-based virus lab to genetically analyze bat coronaviruses and study how they spread to humans. The Trump administration forced NIH to end the grant last year.

“Gene function acquisition” research is a controversial form of research that involves increasing the infectivity and lethality of pathogens. Fauci, who has advocated for such research in the past, denied that the NIH was funding such research in China.

But Paul interrupted him and implied that the virus was leaked because of a laboratory accident.

“Government scientists like you are in favor of gene function getting ……,” Paul said.

“I’m not in favor of gene function acquisition research in China, and the things you’re saying are not true.” Fauci said.

Paul also pressed Fauci on the theory that the coronavirus was created in a Wuhan lab and then somehow escaped. Paul cited reports that even top doctors in Wuhan were unsure whether the virus that caused COVID-19 was the result of a laboratory leak. He asked Fauci to answer exactly whether the virus causing the COVID-19 disease had leaked from a laboratory.

Fauci did not definitively rule out that possibility. He said, “I don’t know what the Chinese might have done, and I’m all for any further investigation of what happened in China.”

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (D-Mich.) said the world deserves answers about the origins of COVID.

“I’ve been pushing to hold Communist China accountable. It’s time for the Biden administration to do the same thing.” She said.