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Fauci, Sen. Rand Paul accuse each other of lying in heated debate over COVID-19 origins

CA, 21 Jul 2021
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci traded charges of lying on Tuesday in a clash over the origins of COVID-19 and whether the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded controversial research that Paul claims could have contributed to the pandemic.

Paul questioned Fauci about a study he says qualifies as gain of function research, which is considered as the process of altering a pathogen to make it more transmissible in order to better predict emerging diseases. Fauci has previously denied in Senate hearings that the NIH directly funded such research at a Wuhan, China lab, which has faced criticism and scrutiny over being a possible source of the novel coronavirus.

During Tuesday's hearing, Paul questioned Fauci over testimony on May 11 and asked him if he was aware of the criminal penalties of lying to Congress, implying Fauci did so in the testimony. Fauci balked at the allegation, saying he has never lied to Congress.

"Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly," Fauci said, before going further and accusing Paul of lying himself. "If anybody is lying here, senator, it is you."

Fauci also accused Paul of implying that "what we did resulted in the deaths of individuals. I totally resent that."

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