Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tried to trip up Dr. Anthony Fauci during a Senate hearing on Tuesday, but the Kentucky Republican got more than he bargained for when he began spouting conspiracy theories and lies until Fauci laid a nasty fact check on the senator.
Paul started off his questioning of Fauci by repeating a debunked conspiracy theory first floated by former Trump administration trade adviser Peter Navarro that Dr. Ralph Barrett, an American virologist, had been collaborating with scientists at a virus laboratory in Wuhan, China and that the research was being funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Specifically, the senator alleged that Barrett had engaged in research meant to make viruses even more lethal:
“Think about that. The SARS virus had a 15% mortality rate and we are fighting a pandemic that has about a 1% mortality [rate]. Can you imagine if a SARS virus that has been juiced up and had viral proteins added to it, if that were released accidentally? Do still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?”
Fauci immediately shot down Paul’s BS theory:
“With all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan institute. We do not fund — Dr. Barrett does not do gain of function research, and if it is, it is according to the guidelines and is being conducted in North Carolina.”
Clearly taken aback by Fauci’s response, Paul countered with more lies:
“You do not think that … is gain of function [research]? You’d be in the minority because at least 200 scientists have signed a statement saying that it is gain of function.”
Once more, Fauci used facts to shut down the senator:
“It is not. If you look at the grant and the progress reports, it is not gain of function despite the fact that people tweet that… We do not send money to that institute.”
For some reason known only to him, Rand Paul seems to think he knows more about virology than Fauci, even though his only claim to any medical knowledge is that he’s an ophthalmologist who isn’t even certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Dr. Fauci, on the other hand, is one of the most respect virologists on the planet.
Maybe it’s jealousy, but Sen. Paul needs to learn when to shut up because every time he tries to go toe to toe with Fauci, he gets his clock cleaned.
Here’s the video:
Featured Image Via Screenshot