FIRST ON FOX: Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul slammed former National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci after Fauci denied allegations that he froze former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Disease Prevention (CDC) Dr. Robert Redfield from a key conference call on the origins of COVID-19.
Fauci was accused of freezing redfield from a February 2020 conference call on the origins of COVID-19 during the explosive Wednesday hearing of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The former NIAID director rejected the allegations in an interview with Fox News on Thursday, calling House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan’s allegations of bribing scientists and “freezing” Redfield “absurd.”
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Paul fired on Fauci in a statement to Fox News Digital, saying the former NIAID director “in fact lied to Congress about passing the Wuhan gain-of-task investigation.”
“It is a fact that the scientists Fauci convinced to change their minds about the lab leak theory received million-dollar raises at their NIH shortly thereafter,” Paul said.
Paul, a frequent training partner with Fauci during the last congressional hearings, has been a critic of the gain-of-function research, which many say caused the COVID-19 pandemic in a Chinese lab leak.
Redfield said during Wednesday’s hearing that he believes the gain-of-function investigation “probably caused the biggest pandemic our world has ever seen” when asked by Select Subcommittee Chairman Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, whether the gain-of-function investigation function ever stopped a pandemic.
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Redfield also responded in the negative when asked by Wenstrup if he thought there was any “tangible benefit” to functional research.
The former CDC director also stressed that his fellow scientists involved in the research are “people of good faith” who “really believe” that the research will produce benefits.
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“I personally don’t, but I want to stress that I think the men and women who are supporting it are people of good faith because they really believe it will lead to potential benefit,” Redfield said.
“I disagree with that assessment.”
Fox News Digital’s Charles Creitz contributed reporting.