Fauci will be questioned by Congress TODAY about pandemic failures and lab leaks during 7-hour marathon session
Former White House physician Anthony Fauci will be questioned by Congress today about his handling of the Covid pandemic and his ties to a Chinese laboratory feared to have caused the outbreak.
Dr. Fauci, 82, will appear before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic on Monday and Tuesday for two seven-hour closed-door sessions.
The ex-official will face questions over his alleged attempts to end the scientific debate over the laboratory leak theory, the idea that a genetically engineered coronavirus escapes from a Chinese laboratory.
Since his last appearance before Congress over a year ago, it has been revealed that Dr. Fauci oversaw federal spending on risky virus research during his time at the federal government's top scientific research agency.
He is also expected to be questioned about his flip-flops on vaccine and mask mandates, as well as the long-term effects of lockdowns, which have been linked to declining test scores and school performance, higher rates of serious illnesses such as cancer, and mental health issues .
Dr. Fauci's testimony behind closed doors is expected to be heated, as in previous hearings. In the past, Dr. Fauci has clashed with lawmakers, including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, over his alleged cover-up of funding for gain-of-function research and the Covid lab leak theory.
New emails dated February 1, 2020 show that Fauci acknowledged that “Wuhan University scientists are known to have been working on gain-of-function experiments to determine that molecular mechanisms associated with bat viruses adapt to human infections , and that the outbreak originated in Wuhan'
The closed hearings highlight Dr. Fauci's first visit to Capitol Hill since his retirement, and it's expected to get heated.
Subcommittee members have compiled “more than 200 pages of questions and approximately 100 pieces of evidence,” likely including evidence such as private emails between Fauci and other scientists showing efforts to silence dissent over the origins of the coronavirus blur.
The Subcommittee said Monday: 'Serious work requires serious answers.'
The Select Subcommittee first requested a meeting with Fauci in February, but the timing was only agreed to with Fauci's lawyers earlier this month, according to a letter from the committee sent last year.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup, the committee's Republican chairman, said last fall, “It's time for Dr. Fauci to face the facts and address the numerous controversies that have arisen during and after the pandemic.”
The infectious disease expert appeared to have suppressed the voices of those who claimed the coronavirus that caused the global pandemic was the product of a laboratory leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
One such email from former head of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Francis Collins to Dr. Fauci in 2020 stated that the lab leak theory was being pushed by “fringe epidemiologists” and needed a “swift and devastating publicized takedown” used to be.
Senator Rand Paul got into a heated exchange with Dr. Anthony Fauci during a hearing in July 2021, when he again pressed the nation's top immunologist about whether the US was funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan. Fauci responded: 'You don't know what you're talking about'
Dr. Fauci has been accused of suppressing dissent that claimed the Covid pandemic likely resulted from a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where researchers were doing work to improve their function.
So far, no study approved by the US or the World Health Organization has been able to rule out the laboratory leak theory. Amid criticism of the controversy, Dr. Fauci has since said he has an “open mind,” though he stressed it remains “highly likely” the virus passed from animals to humans.
The WIV contains biolabs where scientists tinker with coronaviruses in ways that either make them more transmissible to humans or more or less virulent, a type of research known as 'gain of function'.
Dr. Fauci emphasized to members of Congress in 2021 that his former department, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “never and does not now fund the gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
Yet recently published emails from February 1, 2020 show that Fauci acknowledged that “Wuhan University scientists have known to have worked on gain-of-function experiments to determine that molecular mechanisms associated with bat viruses are adaptable to human infections, and that the outbreak originated in Wuhan.'
Although the emails show that Dr. Fauci was aware of gain-of-function research in the laboratory, he never admitted that the NIH funded it.
Proponents of the lab leak theory, including some members of Congress and government agencies, have pushed for a more comprehensive investigation into the origins of the pandemic, going so far back as to investigate federal funding for the controversial research organization EcoHealth Alliance, led by British scientist Peter Daszak. , between 2014 and 2021.
The organization has outsourced taxpayer-funded grants to several laboratories, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
EcoHealth Alliance received $8 million in federal grants between 2014 and 2021, which it outsourced to eight research facilities, including WIV.
White Coat Waste, a watchdog group that calls for the end of medical experimentation on animals and a fierce critic of EcoHealth, said Monday: “We have been working for years to hold (Dr. Fauci) accountable for abusing his authority to violated federal prohibition on financing profits from office, conspired to cover it up, and repeatedly lied to Congress about it.
“Anthony Fauci is a textbook example of waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government, and taxpayers deserve answers and accountability for his role in recklessly funding and interfering with an adversary's animal laboratory that likely created a pandemic with US money. American taxpayer. '
Dr. Fauci has long been one of the most sought-after authorities on infectious diseases, especially on the rise of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s.
But he has seen a sudden fall from grace in recent years for promoting a misguided policy of locking down cities and schools for extended periods, with disastrous consequences that now come back to haunt him.
It began in the wake of guidance in early 2020 to discourage Americans from using face masks, and instead urged the public to keep as much limited protective equipment available for healthcare workers as possible.
However, he has since become a staunch supporter of masking in public, despite questionable evidence that it actually makes a difference in preventing transmission and serious disease.
The sessions come amid skyrocketing numbers of new Covid hospitalizations and cases of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, all of which threaten to overwhelm hospitals again.