Upon initially hearing about the debate surrounding the origins of COVID-19 Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) thought that, “[scientists] were being honest with us.” However, his perspective changed after reading a May 2021 article on Medium by former New York Times science journalist Nicholas Wade. “The evidence, I think, was very, very strong that it came from a lab,” says Paul, who has been in a public dispute with former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci over the issue of whether his agency funded risky “gain-of-function” research in Wuhan, China.
Paul believes there has been a cover-up throughout the government regarding the true origins of COVID-19. He believes that Fauci lied to Congress and has referred the matter to Attorney General Merrick Garland for criminal prosecution with no response. Paul has introduced legislation to cut public funding for gain-of-function research and to reform how the federal government funds scientific research. He has also tried to prohibit government officials from meeting with social media companies to censor legal speech. Paul believes that the evidence is strong and that Fauci and other scientists were not being honest about the virus’s origins.
Paul’s famous exchange with Fauci from July 2021, where Fauci denied that the government funded gain-of-function research, has caused Paul to question the level of deception at play. He believes there should be consequences for those who may have been dishonest about the origins of COVID-19, stating that it is a crime to lie to Congress and is punishable by up to five years in prison. Despite submitting evidence to the attorney general for criminal prosecution, no action has been taken.
Paul is determined to uncover the truth and believes there has been a concerted effort to cover up the true origins of the virus. He believes that the evidence is strong and that officials like Fauci have not been truthful about their involvement with gain-of-function research.