Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), one of the key Republican lawmakers who has continually raised concerns over Dr. Anthony Fauci due to his handling of the Chinese coronavirus, called on the Biden administration to fire him, concluding it is “time for Fauci to go.”
Blackburn renewed her call to “fire Fauci” on Tuesday, stressing the importance of the American people being able to trust the country’s top public health officials.
“The American people need to have trust in our nation’s public health officials. It’s time for Fauci to go,” she said:
A May Rasmussen Reports survey found 65 percent believe political considerations have had at least some influence on Fauci’s decisions and statements, and of those, 40 percent said such considerations have had “a lot of influence” on the health official. A Trafalgar Group survey released that same month found confidence in the White House chief medical adviser plummeting 42.2 percent in the last year.
Blackburn’s renewed call coincides with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) grilling Fauci during a Tuesday hearing on the Chinese coronavirus over the health official’s prior claim that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) never funded gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Fauci effectively denied his own definition of gain-of-function research and refused to retract his May 11 statement, opting to engage in a heated exchange with the senator.
“And yet, gain-of-function research was done entirely in the Wuhan Institute … and was funded by the NIH,” Paul said, citing Wuhan Virology paper entitled, “Discovery of a Rich Gene Pool of Bat SARS-Related Coronaviruses.”
“In this paper … she credits the NIH and lists the actual number of the grant that she was given by the NIH. In this paper, she took two bat coronavirus genes, spiked genes, and combined them with a SARS-related backbone to create new viruses that are not found in nature,” Paul said, laying out his case before asking Fauci if he wished to retract a May 11 statement where he claimed the NIH never funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease director remained obstinate.
“Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you were referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain 0f function — let me finish!” he began.
“You take an animal virus and you increase this transmissibility to humans, you’re saying that’s not gain of function?” Paul asked.
“Yeah that is correct, and Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly. And I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about,” he said as Paul interjected.
“This is your definition that you guys wrote. It says that scientific research that increases the transmissibility among animals is gain of function. They took animal viruses that only occur in animals and they increase their transmissibility to humans. How you can say that is not gain of function?” Paul asked, prompting Fauci to deny it yet again.
“It’s a dance, and you’re dancing around this because you’re trying to obscure responsibility for four million people dying around the world from a pandemic,” Paul added.
Content created by Hannah Bleau
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