During an appearance at Newsmax TV's "Rob Schmitt Tonight," subcommittee member Rep. Rich McCormick (R-GA) said that the emails said that suspicions were heightened due to the fact that scientists in Wuhan University (WHU) are known to have been "working on gain-of-function experiments to determine the molecular mechanisms associated with bat viruses adapting to human infection, and the outbreak originated in Wuhan."
McCormick pointed out that Fauci absolutely knew what was going on. "As a matter of fact, several scientists were discussing this and agreeing with each other that it made no sense that it came from a natural selection process," the congressman said adding that it is bizarre that the retired health authority moved away from the lab leak theory because, in his view, the lab leak theory has gotten more likely as more evidence has come to light.
But the former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director decided "to mislead the public on purpose."
New emails reveal that Dr. Fauci was aware of risky gain-of-function research occurring in Wuhan, China prior to the emergence of COVID-19.
— Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic (@COVIDSelect) July 13, 2023
Meanwhile, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland last week calling for an investigation into whether Fauci committed perjury when he testified in front of a Senate committee in 2021. Paul accused Fauci of lying under oath over his knowledge of dangerous virus research in China. In July of that year, Fauci testified that he "has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)." Yet in the newly released email dated February 1, 2020, with the subject "follow up," Fauci clearly mentioned WIV's "gain of function experiments."
Perjury is a federal offense that carries up to five years in prison.
The July 13-released electronic correspondence from Fauci was about a conference call regarding the origins of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) hosted by Fauci and attended by Dr. Francis Collins, former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute and other researchers.
To further prove that Fauci was feigning innocence, Paul cited WIV scientists' piece titled "Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirus," which specifically talked about the ongoing efforts to produce a 'chimeric' coronavirus, which means it has been altered by man – otherwise known as 'gain of function.'
The lawmaker asserted that the research recorded in the paper explicitly matches the definition of gain-of-function research. "This paper was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain-of-function," Fauci insisted. But then, the emails proved otherwise. (Related: Former Director of National Intelligence finally admits that Fauci LIED about gain of function research.)
While it was not mentioned in the emails whether the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded the research, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) determined last month that WIV and WHU did receive NIH funding, Paul said in his letter to AG Garland. It said: 'The report noted that NIH funded the WIV's project "Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence" and included "genetic experiments to combine naturally occurring bat coronaviruses with SARS and MERS viruses, resulting in hybridized coronavirus strains."
GAO also found that NIH funded WHU's collaboration with WIV on viral detection in the Yunnan Province.
Meanwhile, Danish evolutionary biologist Dr. Kristian Andersen, the co-author of a now-notorious research paper published in March 2020 that denounced the origin scenario as a conspiracy theory and xenophobic actually privately believed lab leak was possible, as per the leaked messages.
According to the obtained Slack messages by the Daily Mail, just weeks before the publication of the paper, Andersen told colleagues the idea of a lab leak was 'not some fringe theory' and was, in fact, 'highly likely' the genesis of the pandemic.
Separate, publicly available communications between the virologist and his co-authors show how the group backed the natural origin theory – the idea the virus jumped from an animal to a person in the wild – for 'political' reasons and feared pinning the blame on the Chinese lab would cause a 's***show' and threaten future funding of virus manipulation research, the alternative news portal wrote.
"The main issue is that accidental escape is in fact highly likely – it's not some fringe theory. I absolutely agree that we can't prove one way o the other, but we never will be able to – however, that doesn't mean that by default the data is currently much more suggestive of a natural origin as opposed to e.g. passage," Andersen's message read.
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