NIH director vehemently disagreed with GOP Kentucky senator's assessment of what gain of function was
Following a testy - and at times angry exchange - during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on COVID-19, on Capitol Hill between Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and National Institute of Health (NIH) Director Dr Anthony Fauci, the former said that he would push for a criminal inquiry into the latter.
The Kentucky senator claimed that the infectious diseases chief lied before Congress about funding for a Chinese lab that some have linked to the likely accidental outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Newsweek.
Paul deliberately began his cross-examination of the most well-remunerated public servant in the US government with a reminder about the penalties for lying to Congress. Specifically, he argued that the NIH funded so-called "gain of function" research - which alters an organism or disease in a way that usually increases transmissibility - at the laboratory in Wuhan.
Fauci, at times shaking with anger, tore into the Kentucky senator, dismissing him as not "knowing what he was talking about."
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The two continued to exchange heated barbs, with each accusing the other of lying; Paul said that Fauci was obfuscating about the nature of gain of function and playing with definitions, while Fauci claimed that the Republican was not being truthful regarding those same claims.