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Wuhan Lab Funding The Latest Point Of Contention Between Paul, Fauci

Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP

Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul debuted a new line of attack against the country's leading infectious disease expert during a hearing this week — this time dealing with the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci have sparred repeatedly at hearings, over topics ranging from COVID-19 immunity to masking recommendations.  

On Tuesday, the Republican senator and ophthalmologist asked Fauci whether the National Institutes of Health helped fund controversial research — referred to as "gain-of-function" research — at a lab in Wuhan, China that could have resulted in more infectious viruses.

Fauci sharply disputed the allegation, saying the NIH was not funding that type of research in China, but instead seeking genetic analyses of bat coronaviruses.

"It would have been irresponsible of us if we did not investigate the bat viruses and the serology to see who might have been infected in China," the White House chief medical advisor said.

"Or perhaps it would be irresponsible to send it to the Chinese government, that we may not be able to trust with this knowledge and with this incredible dangerous virus," Paul shot back.

More context on the NIH/Wuhan claims from Axios.

Pressed on whether he could categorically rule out that COVID-19 passed through a laboratory, Fauci said he is "fully in favor" of any further investigation of what went on in China, but repeated that the NIH did not provide funding for gain-of-function research.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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