Dr. Anthony Fauci got quite defensive during a hearing on Capitol Hill this week after Republican Senator Rand Paul confronted him, again, about his support and funding of dangerous gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Things just got tense between Senator @RandPaul and Dr. Fauci.— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) July 20, 2021
PAUL: "There will be responsibility for those who funded the lab, including yourself."
FAUCI: "I totally resent the lie that you are now propagating, Senator." pic.twitter.com/RZq3ESb9xM
But while Fauci attempts to evade responsibility for the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, his decades long and enthusiastic support of gain-of-function research is coming back to the surface.
During an event in 2013 for the Center for International and Strategic Studies, Fauci explained while scientists should avoid hurting people through lab accidents, too many restrictions on research and the manipulation of viruses can impede "creativity."
2013. Fauci talking about gain of function research.— Maze (@mazemoore) July 21, 2021
“Being too restrictive can impede creativity.” pic.twitter.com/UkJ7vBlVxa
A year earlier in 2012, Fauci argued manipulating bat viruses was worth potentially causing a pandemic.
In previously unreported remarks, Dr Fauci supported the contentious gain-of-function experiments that some now fear might have led to an escape from a Wuhan laboratory causing the Covid-19 pandemic, calling them “important work”.
An investigation by The Weekend Australian has also confirmed Dr Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, did not alert senior White House officials before lifting the ban on gain-of-function research in 2017.
Writing in the American Society for Microbiology in October 2012, Dr Fauci acknowledged the controversial scientific research could spark a pandemic.
“In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic?” he wrote. “Many ask reasonable questions: given the possibility of such a scenario – however remote – should the initial experiments have been performed and/or published in the first place, and what were the processes involved in this decision?
“Scientists working in this field might say – as indeed I have said – that the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks.
Fauci has been referred to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation by Senator Paul, who alleges he lied to Congress about funding gain-of-function research.