“I will be sending a letter to Department of Justice asking for a criminal referral because he has lied to Congress. We have scientists that were lined up by the dozens to say that the research he was funding was gain-of-function,” the Kentucky Republican told Sean Hannity of Fauci on Tuesday evening’s “Hannity” program.
“He’s doing this because he has a self interest to cover his tracks and to cover his connection to Wuhan lab,” Paul continued.
Paul’s interview comes after he and Fauci had another heated exchange during a Senate hearing Tuesday when the two traded accusations of “lying” over gain-of-function research at a Wuhan lab floated as the origin of the coronavirus.
The NIH and NIAID have said they supported grants to research viruses in bats but never funded gain-of-function research of coronaviruses and transmissibility for humans.
“Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11, where you claimed that the NIH never funded gains-of-function research in Wuhan?” Paul asked the NIAID director at one point in the hearing. The comment came after he cited a paper on research about bat coronaviruses, and quoting Dr. Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University, that the “research matches, indeed epitomizes the definition of gain-of-function research.”
“I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement,” Fauci responded.
“You do not know what you are talking about quite frankly and I want to say that officially,” Fauci added.
Paul argued Fauci was “dancing around” the definition of gain-of-function research because he’s “trying to obscure responsibility for 4 million people dying around the world from a pandemic.”
Paul added in his interview with Hannity that Fauci doesn’t deserve all the “blame” for the pandemic, saying “there’s still some conjecture as to whether or not it came from the lab.”
“But he’s lying about whether or not he funded gain-of-function research, and yes, he should be punished.”
Fauci’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’s request for comment on Paul’s intention to send a letter to the Department of Justice.