A couple of days ago, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul had a very public verbal scuffle with America’s lawn gnome, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci over Fauci’s role in developing what looks like a bio-engineered Wuhan virus. My colleague Bonchie covered the hearing in this post, Fauci Explodes on Rand Paul After Being Pinned Down on Wuhan Lab Funding. My take on it can be found at Fauci Melts Down After Senator Rand Paul Warns Him That Lying to Congress Is a Crime. If you haven’t watched the video, here it is.
The White House and the media tried to spin this as a win for Fauci, but only the most childish of intellects can fail to see the evasion and the near state of panic that Fauci was in on being called out for his direct responsibility for a global pandemic (or bioweapons attack if the virus is proven to be engineered in the Wuhan Institute for Virology). This close-up of Fauci’s hand was making the rounds shortly after the hearing. This is not the biological response of a confident man or a man who thinks he’s winning the argument. This is the essence of the fight-flee-hide response.
While a lot of the usual suspects were parroting Fauci’s prevarications, the Washington Post agrees with what we said about Fauci’s performance. This is by Josh Rogin (full disclosure, I’m not a Rogin fan, and at one time, I was blocked by him on Twitter) and headlined What the fight between Anthony Fauci and Rand Paul is really about.
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Rogin demolishes Fauci, terming it a strawman and pointing out that he engaged in legalistic maneuvers over the precise language of “gain of function” research without ever addressing Paul’s questions.
My RedState colleague, Scott Hounsell, did some stellar investigative work and documented the financial links from Fauci to EcoHealth Alliance, and revealed emails in which EcoHealth thanked Fauci for covering for them. (See here, here, and here.)
This is what Rogin has to say:
Fauci also told Paul there’s no possibility the research in the paper Paul cited directly led to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but Paul correctly called this out as a straw man. That specific project was only one element of the U.S. government multiagency effort that for years pumped U.S. money and know-how into these Wuhan labs, via the EcoHealth Alliance, including NIH, USAID and the Pentagon. According to an intelligence fact sheet released by the Trump administration and partially confirmed by the Biden administration, the WIV took our help and used it to build another, secret part of the lab, where they worked with the Chinese military.
Congress and the media would be derelict not to examine the decisions by Fauci and others that led to this collaboration. But rather than respond with openness and transparency, Fauci has consistently thrown cold water on the lab leak theory. Right now, NIH and other government agencies are ignoring congressional requests for more information about their relationships with these Chinese labs.
This matters right now because the World Health Organization is starting a second attempt to investigate the origins of the outbreak, this time including a call to investigate the labs. Meanwhile, the Chinese government is insisting that it will never allow a real investigation into the Wuhan lab. It will be up to the U.S. government to lead the campaign to pressure Beijing to play ball.
Looking ahead, we must question whether U.S. government investment in this risky research, especially in collaboration with China, is worth these risks. Certainly, the current plan to spend $1.2 billion to drastically expand the initiative known as the Global Virome Project, an effort to dig up dangerous viruses and experiment on them in labs, including labs in China, must be totally reexamined.
This is ultimately not about Fauci or Paul or even gain of function research. This is about getting to the truth of how this pandemic started so we can adjust our policies to prevent the next one. That means avoiding politics, not quibbling over semantics and pushing forward without bias or pre-conclusions. This is an urgent issue for our national security and public health.
All of this is true, but Rogin soft-pedals what is at stake here.
Our premier scientific research organization, with the full knowledge of its leadership, gave money, directly or indirectly, I don’t core, to a bioweapons lab run by the Chinese military. A virus from that lab, which seems to have been produced via the same type of research Frankenstein and Igor were funding, was released upon the world. Everything about China’s actions indicates that they acted maliciously in either what they did (a premedicated release to test Western response) or failed to do so (warn the world about an accidental release). The only reason that Fauci could reasonably have had for funding a Chinese military lab was that he knew they could do experiments in that environment that would never be permitted in the Western world. And his untoward spasm of anger at the hearing was because he knows everything is about to come out.
Yes, by all means, we must get to the truth of how this happened. But to make this more than a useless factoid, we must hold personally accountable everyone involved in funding and approving this reckless research. If an average citizen from the heartland can get six months in solitary for walking into the US Capitol after being waved in by Capitol police, then we must make sure that the people who kicked off a global pandemic and killed millions of people are treated at least as harshly.