Republican senators zeroed in on the government’s involvement in the creation of the coronavirus. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) led the first-ever Senate hearing focused on gain-of-function research and the origins of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Paul and GOP Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) pressed three scientists on the role the US government had in research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
In his opening statement, Dr. Richard Ebright defined gain-of-function research as the modification of pathogens to increase their transmissibility and effectiveness against human immune systems and treatments. During multiple exchanges with Sen. Paul, NIH Director Anthony Fauci vehemently denied his agency had funded such projects. However, Ebright alleged in a written statement that Fauci lied to Paul, the press and the American public.
Sen. Marshall dug up past statements made by Fauci, touching on the research he was involved with in an almost prophetic way.
“Again is 2012, Dr. Fauci also said almost prophetically that he was worried about unregulated laboratories, perhaps outside of the United States, doing work unlawfully and leading to an inadvertent pandemic,” stated the Republican. “And he went on to say the accidental release is what the world is really worried about.”