Headline RoundupMay 11th, 2021

Fauci and Rand Paul Clash Over Pandemic Origins, US Funding for Wuhan Lab

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci clashed during a Senate health committee hearing Tuesday over the COVID-19 pandemic's origins. Paul accused Fauci of funding controversial "gain-of-function" research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in Wuhan, China; the research allegedly focused on mutating animal viruses to infect humans. Fauci denied Paul's allegations, calling them "entirely and completely incorrect." Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) previously funded WIV research into bat-borne diseases and how they could affect humans. Questions remain about the ultimate origin of the virus, and whether it moved from animals to humans or leaked from a laboratory. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called the lab leak theory "the least likely hypothesis," while also saying it "requires further investigation." Former CDC chief Robert Redfield is among the lab leak theory's prominent supporters. The exchange between Paul and Fauci made headlines on all sides. Some coverage from right-rated sources framed the lab leak theory as more probable; some reports from left-rated outlets painted it as less likely.

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