Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., shared two words in response to news of unearthed emails from Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Thousands of emails obtained by Buzzfeed News and hundreds more reviewed by The Washington Post through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests show Fauci’s responses to both critiques and high praise as he worked to communicate the dangers of COVID-19 to the U.S. as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“Told you,” Paul wrote in a Tuesday tweet with the hashtag #firefauci.
He added in another tweet: “Can’t wait to see the media try to spin the Fauci FOIA emails.”
Paul has repeatedly criticized Fauci on social media and in interviews for his comments on herd immunity, wearing masks even after getting the COVID-19 vaccine and his dismissal of a theory suggesting COVID-19 may have originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China that has gained more credibility among members of the media in recent weeks despite early snubbing of the idea.
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Paul has also condemned Fauci’s claim made during a May 25 congressional hearing that a $600,000 federal grant from NIAID did not directly fund the lab’s gain of function research, which is research that involves modifying a virus to make it more infectious among humans.
The grant went to a group called EcoHealth Alliance, which then paid the Wuhan Institute of Virology to study the risk that bat coronaviruses could infect humans.
Francis Collins, the director of NIH, said earlier in the hearing that the taxpayer-funded grant to EcoHealth and the Wuhan Institute of Virology was not approved to conduct gain of function research.
Some Republicans, including Paul, maintain that NIAID money under Fauci’s purview did in fact go to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to conduct gain of function research, which raises ethical, safety and security concerns, according to some politicians and scientists.
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“Fauci acknowledged that a gain of function super virus could escape a lab and cause a pandemic, but that it is worth the risk. His naïveté should disqualify him from government service,” Paul wrote in a May 28 tweet responding to Fauci’s comments during the House Appropriations Committee subcommittee hearing.
Collins dismissed the so-called “lab leak theory” as a “conspiracy” in an April email to Fauci obtained by Buzzfeed.
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In an April 17 email obtained by the outlet, Fauci said coronavirus mutations that led to COVID-19 are “totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human” rather than a lab leak.
Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth, personally thanked Fauci for supporting “evidence” that COVID-19 came from an animal rather than the Wuhan lab in an April 18, 2020, emails obtained by Buzzfeed show.
“I just wanted
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