FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 21, 2021
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a recent exchange on the possible origins of the Coronavirus at a Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee hearing with Dr. Fauci, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced an amendment that would ban the funding of gain-of-function research in China.
“We don’t know whether the pandemic started in a lab in Wuhan or evolved naturally,” Dr. Paul said. “ While Washington bureaucrats deny funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan, experts believe otherwise. My amendment will ensure that this never happens in the future.”
Senate Amendment 1707 bans National Institutes of Health and any other U.S. agency from funding any gain-of-function research in China.
You can read S. 1707 in its entirety HERE.
Last week, during a Senate HELP hearing on May 11, Dr. Paul specifically asked Dr. Fauci about the funding of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the potential link between the COVID-19 outbreak and the lab itself. Gain-of-function research essentially involves juicing up naturally-occurring animal viruses to infect humans.
For years, Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist in the U.S. has been collaborating with Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Virology Institute, sharing his discoveries about how to create super viruses. During their research, Dr. Baric and Dr. Shi worked together to insert bat virus spike protein into the backbone of the deadly SARS virus and then used the man-made super virus to infect human airway cells.
Much of the research they were doing was funded through Dr. Fauci’s NIH and NIAID.
When Dr. Paul asked Dr. Fauci whether he supports the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan, Dr. Fauci, a strong supporter and ardent advocate of gain-of-function research, claimed that the NIH “has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
Despite Dr. Fauci’s denial, there is ample evidence and backing by the scientific community that the NIH and the NIAID, under his direction, funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. A multitude of scientists have reviewed this research and said it meets the definition for gain-of-function. Many of these scientists have also discussed the inherent dangers of conducting gain-of-function research and the risks it poses to the human population.