Dr. Anthony Fauci faced off with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) during a Tuesday Senate hearing that witnessed Paul threatening Fauci with imprisonment for "lying" to Congress — over Fauci's dismayed protestations.
The exchange took place during a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on the issue of whether the National Institutes of Health funded gain-of-function research — which aims to make viruses more infectious — in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. A May 24 story in The Wall Street Journal noted the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — which Fauci heads — did indeed provide a research grant related to the research.
"Dr. Fauci, as you are aware, it is a crime to lie to Congress," Paul said as he kicked off his questions for Fauci, emphasizing that federal law makes lying to Congress a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. "On your last trip to our committee on May 11, you stated that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology," he added.