As the lab leak COVID origin theory gains traction due to a letter from concerned scientists published in the journal Science and an article by former New York Times science editor Nicholas Wade published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (the Doomsday clock people), Dr. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci faced off in a Senate hearing.
“Juicing up super viruses is not new. Scientists in the U.S. have long known how to mutate 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. This gain-of-function research has been funded by the NIH. … Dr. Fauci, do you still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?”
— Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), remarks at a Senate hearing, May 11
“Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect that the NIH has not never and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
— Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in response.
Who should we believe? The ophthalmologist turned Senator. Or the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director turned pandemic celebrity? Here are the facts. You decide.
For Dr. Senator Paul:
- In 2015, a paper was published in Nature co-authored by Dr Baric and Dr Shi. The abstract reads, “Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone. The results indicate that group 2b viruses … replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells. The paper lists NIH and Fauci’s NIAID as funding sources.
- The NIH gave grants to EcoHealth Alliance who supported research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. According to the grant, the research would “Test predictions of CoV inter-species transmission. Predictive models of emergence potential will be tested experimentally using reverse genetics, pseudovirus and receptor binding assays, and virus infection experiments across a range of cell cultures from different species and humanized mice.
For Dr. Fauci:
Responding to a Washington Post fact checker, the EcoHealth spokesperson said, “The NIH has not funded gain-of-function work. EcoHealth Alliance was funded by the NIH to conduct study of coronavirus diversity in China. From that award, we subcontracted work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology to help with sampling and lab capacity.”
“None of them [the coronavirus samples] had been manipulated in order to increase their ability to spread, all the researchers did was insert S [spike] proteins in order to gauge their ability to infect human cells.”
All the researchers did was insert spike proteins into coronaviruses and gauge how infectious to humans they became? That’s not a rebuttal. It’s the smoking gun. EcoHealth just corroborated the assertion by Nicholas Wade and others that coronaviruses were manipulated in the lab to make them more dangerous to humans. This is why the preponderance of evidence now favors the lab leak hypothesis.