Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) unleashed on Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday night, claiming a newly released trove of emails involving the nation’s top infectious disease expert reveals that Fauci is morally culpable for the COVID-19 pandemic that’s killed nearly 600,000 Americans.
Paul, who has repeatedly clashed with Fauci during Senate hearings over mask-wearing and the origins of the virus, called on the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to be fired after The Washington Post and BuzzFeed obtained a batch of thousands of emails this week. The Kentucky lawmaker also crowed on Wednesday that he had been vindicated while fundraising off the emails.
“Told you,” Paul said in one tweet, adding in another: “Can’t wait to see the media try to spin the Fauci FOIA emails.”
Appearing on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle that night, Paul insisted that the unearthed emails proved that Fauci may have been responsible for the development of COVID-19 due to the National Institutes of Health’s potential funding of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. (Fauci has denied that the NIH ever directly funded that type of viral research in Wuhan.)
Noting that Fauci now supports investigating whether the virus originated from an accidental lab leak, Paul said the emails “paint a disturbing picture” because they apparently show that Fauci was worried from the “very beginning” that the virus was developed due to the NIH’s funding.
“There’s culpability in that he’s a big supporter of the funding, but he also was a big supporter to this day of saying we could trust the Chinese on this,” the senator declared. “I think that’s quite naive and really should preclude him from the position that he is in.”
While Fox host Laura Ingraham and Paul insisted that the emails show Fauci directly admitting that the NIH was funding gain-of-function research, Paul didn’t want to go so far as to say Fauci had any criminal exposure.
“Could there be criminal culpability here given the repeated failures of Dr. Fauci, who was basically in charge of our messaging on this and advice on this? Could there be criminal culpability here of fraud or ongoing collaboration with the Chinese when he was making excuses for them?” Ingraham wondered aloud.
“At the very least, there is moral culpability,” Paul replied, claiming that Wuhan scientists gave Fauci “credit” for the development of the virus.
“It’s very dangerous,” he added. “We shouldn’t be doing it here or there, but Dr. Fauci has denied it to this day. But the private emails show he was acknowledging it was gain-of-function. The scientific community needs to look at this because he hides behind this veil of the lab coat that nobody can question him.”