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

Headline Roundup May 11th, 2021

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.

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

From the Left
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, once again found himself embroiled in a heated back-and-forth with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) during a Tuesday Senate coronavirus hearing, this time over accusations that he funded a Wuhan lab to develop COVID-19.

Paul, who signaled on Monday that he was going to grill Fauci on the subject, alleged that gain-of-function research to mutate animal viruses to infect humans at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been funded by the National Institutes of Health, something that Fauci strongly disputed. “With all...

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From the Center
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Anthony Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) got into a heated debate at a Senate health committee hearing on Tuesday, clashing over whether funding from the National Institutes of Health was used for risky "gain-of-function" research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Why it matters: Questions remain about the origins of the coronavirus and the so-called "lab leak hypothesis" — the theory that the virus resulted from experiments in the Wuhan lab that accidentally spilled over, which the head of the World Health Organization has said should be investigated further....

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From the Right
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Rhetorical fireworks ensued yet again on Tuesday when Sen. Rand Paul faced off with Dr. Anthony Fauci over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kentucky Republican, who has sparred with the infectious disease expert numerous times at Senate hearings, used the latest discussion to examine the extent of U.S. involvement with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“To arrive at the truth, the U.S. government should admit that the Wuhan Virology Institute was experimenting to enhance the coronavirus’s ability to infect humans,” Mr. Paul said.

The senator urged more transparency pertaining to the...

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