Fauci, Paul Debate Over NIH Funding of Wuhan Lab

Headline Roundup July 20th, 2021

During a Senate Health Committee hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) debated Dr. Anthony Fauci on the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) funding of research at a lab in Wuhan, China. In May, Paul claimed that the NIH funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV); then, Fauci responded that the NIH “has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” On Tuesday, Paul repeated his claims, pointing to an academic research paper by WIV published in 2017 that cited the NIH as a resource, and implying that Fauci lied to Congress in May. Fauci responded Tuesday that the paper was evaluated and judged by staff as "not being gain-of-function," saying “I totally resent the lie you are now propagating." 

The story was covered by outlets across the political spectrum, who focused on the claims by both Paul and Fauci. Right-rated outlets tended to frame Paul as being in the right; left-rated outlets often did the same for Dr. Fauci.

From the Left

Anthony Fauci has a reputation for plain speaking, as a senator who accused him of lying discovered to his cost on Tuesday.

A congressional hearing on the coronavirus pandemic was electrified when Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, clashed with Rand Paul, a Republican senator for Kentucky and longtime opponent of mask-wearing.

Paul suggested that Fauci had lied before Congress in May when he denied that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded so-called “gain of function” research – the practice of enhancing a virus in a lab to study its...

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From the Center

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday escalated his ongoing feud with the nation's top infectious diseases doctor Anthony Fauci about the role the National Institutes of Health (NIH) played in funding controversial research in Wuhan, China.

The two traded barbs during a tense exchange, triggering a shouting match in which Fauci accused Paul of lying in order to further his agenda. 

During a Senate Health Committee hearing about the federal COVID-19 response, Paul said the NIH funded illegal gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which created a highly dangerous and transmissible virus...

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From the Right

Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) and Dr. Anthony Fauci again clashed over alleged U.S. government funding of gain-of-function research on bat coronavirus in Wuhan, China, during testimony before a Senate committee on Tuesday.

Paul implied that Fauci misled Congress during May testimony, in which Fauci said the U.S. had never funded gain-of-function projects at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Gain-of-function research involves making viruses more contagious or deadly in a laboratory.

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