The New York Post:
Dr. Anthony Fauci was absolutely adamant that the National Institutes of Health has never funded dangerous research on bat viruses in the Chinese lab suspected of being the source of the COVID-19 pandemic, when he was questioned by Republican Sen. Rand Paul two weeks ago.
“Senator Paul, 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 of Virology,” Fauci said in the fiery Senate hearing on May 11.
He couldn’t have been more certain.
Until he wasn’t certain a few hours later.
That very afternoon, Fauci admitted to “a very minor collaboration as part of a subcontract of a grant we had a collaboration with some Chinese scientists,” during an appearance at Poynter.org’s “festival of fact checking.”
It’s like being a little bit pregnant. The NIH either funded so-called gain-of-function research to juice up bat coronaviruses in China, or it didn’t. Turns out it did. And it did it by exploiting a loophole in an Obama-administration ban on the Frankenstein research put in place in 2014.
Fauci’s defensive answer at the Poynter event this month was in response to a mild-enough question about the coronavirus: “Are you still confident that it developed naturally.”
Rattled by the morning’s confrontation with Sen. Paul, Fauci for the first time admitted he was not at all confident the virus had developed naturally and maybe, just maybe, it could have come from a lab leak. But he still tried to have the last word against Paul.
Leading him to utter possibly the longest run-on sentence of his career …
“I think the real unfortunate aspect of what Senator Paul did is he was conflating research in a collaborative way with Chinese scientists which was, you’d almost have to say if we did not do that we would almost be irresponsible because SARS-CoV-1 [the coronavirus responsible for the 2003 Asian SARS outbreak] clearly originated in China and we were lucky to escape a major pandemic so we really had to learn a lot more about the viruses that were there, about whether or not people were getting infected by viruses, so in a very minor collaboration as part of a subcontract of a grant, we had a collaboration with some Chinese scientists. He conflated that . . . therefore we were involved in creating the virus which is the most ridiculous majestic leap I’ve ever heard of.”
Methinks he doth protest too much.