Sen. Rand Paul CORNERS Dr. Fauci on gain-of-function [Video]
This is as close to a “smoking gun” as one can get at this time. Doctor (and Senator) Rand Paul cornered Dr. Anthony Fauci in a hearing before a Senate committee today covered by multiple networks. CNBC reports:
White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul traded barbs in a heated exchange at a Senate hearing Tuesday over whether the National Institutes of Health funded controversial research Paul claims could have contributed to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Paul grilled Fauci about an NIH funded study that he says qualifies as gain of function research, the process of altering a pathogen to make it more transmissible in order to better predict emerging diseases. Fauci denied in previous Senate testimony that the NIH has directly funded the research at a lab in Wuhan, China, that has come under intense scrutiny as a possible source of the virus.
Dr Fauci exploded in a heated exchange in which he maintained that the reports were checked “up and down the line” and found not to be “gain of function” research.
Senator Paul wasn’t having it. He used some very solid information to show that the very research Dr. Fauci and the National Institute of Heath was funding in Wuhan, China was in point of fact, designed to take viruses that were not transmissible to humans and alter their spike proteins to create a “chimeric” virus (one made of many different spliced pieces of genetic material) to make them transmissible to humans. See for yourself:
Funny how things change, isn’t it?
What it has come to is that altering viruses to give them NEW ability to transmit to humans is in fact “gain-of-function”, at least according to Dr. Senator Rand Paul, who noted that Dr Shi did gain of function research and published her findings in a November 30, 2017 journal article shown here. Dr. Zheng-li Shi is among a pool of doctors to note the following in the medical journal’s article. We have added bold for emphasis, as the language is highly technical:
In the current study, we successfully cultured an additional novel SARSr-CoV Rs4874 from a single fecal sample using an optimized protocol and Vero E6 cells . Its S protein shared 99.9% aa sequence identity with that of previously isolated WIV16 and it was identical to WIV16 in RBD. Using the reverse genetics technique we previously developed for WIV1 , we constructed a group of infectious bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones with the backbone of WIV1 and variants of S genes from 8 different bat SARSr-CoVs. Only the infectious clones for Rs4231 and Rs7327 led to cytopathic effects in Vero E6 cells after transfection (S7 Fig). The other six strains with deletions in the RBD region, Rf4075, Rs4081, Rs4085, Rs4235, As6526 and Rp3 (S1 Fig) failed to be rescued, as no cytopathic effects was observed and viral replication cannot be detected by immunofluorescence assay in Vero E6 cells (S7 Fig). In contrast, when Vero E6 cells were respectively infected with the two successfully rescued chimeric SARSr-CoVs, WIV1-Rs4231S and WIV1-Rs7327S, and the newly isolated Rs4874, efficient virus replication was detected in all infections (Fig 7). To assess whether the three novel SARSr-CoVs can use human ACE2 as a cellular entry receptor, we conducted virus infectivity studies using HeLa cells with or without the expression of human ACE2. All viruses replicated efficiently in the human ACE2-expressing cells. The results were further confirmed by quantification of viral RNA using real-time RT-PCR (Fig 8).
In a different section of this article we see information regarding the Funding for this work:
Funding: This work was jointly funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (81290341, 31621061) to ZLS, China Mega-Project for Infectious Disease (2014ZX10004001-003) to ZLS, Scientific and technological basis special project (2013FY113500) to YZZ and ZLS from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDPB0301) to ZLS, the National Institutes of Health (NIAID R01AI110964), the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) PREDICT program to PD and ZLS, CAS Pioneer Hundred Talents Program to JC, NRF-CRP grant (NRF-CRP10-2012-05) to LFW and WIV “One-Three-Five” Strategic Program (WIV-135-TP1) to JC and ZLS. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
There are, to my eyes, several points in the journal entry that feature discussion of injection of chimeric viruses to see if Human ACE2 would receive them. Now, perhaps the devil is in the details here, but Dr Fauci, to his credit, seems to be able to hide behind the very technical language contained in this document. Nevertheless, Senator Paul appears to be very focused. His citing of an evaluation of the Wuhan Institute’s work by Dr. Richard Ebright seems to make this very complex journal entry quite simply understandable and he calls what was done in the Institute “gain-of-function” research.
Further, Dr. Fauci himself has vocally supported gain-of-function research in precisely the manner in which Wuhan was conducting it. In fact, in Senator Paul’s address, a pause put in place on this reseach starting in 2014 was mentioned as well as the restart of the project off US soil in China.
One interesting note: One of the available video clips showing this was courtesy of NBC. The US Mainstream network, NBC. In other words, this has gone mainstream, though mere months ago all the mainstream networks were calling people who believed COVID originated in a lab “idiots.” NBC’s version was edited and carefully manipulated to try to make Senator Paul look like the fool, but this attempt may not work well.
We provided a fuller clip from CNBC via BlazeTV News. While the headline of the BlazeTV clip is too sensationalized (Dr Fauci’s career was by no means ended, but he sure was made uncomfortable!), the content of the video offers a much fuller depiction of the confrontation, and it appears very clear that Doctor Fauci is scrambling.
Doctor Fauci was badly cornered today. If he really is innocent of the allegation that Senator Paul is putting forth, I feel very sorry for him, for he is not giving any sort of good defense.
In Dr. Fauci’s response, one can hear him using a great number of “technicalities” to try to clear his name of responsibility for the research that may have resulted in the development of SARS-CoV-2, which is increasingly understood to have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, metastasized and spread throughout the world. Its current death toll numbers more than four million people.
Dr. Fauci was unable to put in simple and understandable terms what Senator Rand Paul was able to do. In fact, he was barely even able to articulate his thoughts in clear English on at least one stunning occasion. He sounded like he was pulling ideas out of the air… and maybe he was.
Now, to be absolutely fair, short answers are not always sufficient answers. The American political and media culture is drastically inconvenienced by this fact: Sometimes things take a long time to explain honestly and correctly. The discussion of medical journals is not an easy matter for a layman. This is very evident in my own resarch into the piece in question.
SARS-CoV-2 is also a manifestly political virus; perhaps the most political pathogen in history. In addition to the four million souls it has taken, it has turned national governments upside down, most notably, that of the United States. Dr Fauci has been at the head of this matter, and his policy recommendations caused the most problems.
He is really on the spot in many ways. He barked at Senator Paul that he did not know what he was talking about, but in fact, it may be Dr. Fauci who does not know what he is talking about. Based on the man’s history with a botched response to AIDS/HIV many years ago, this is quite likely. He works in the government. Government people are usually not very expert after they have been working in government for a while.
The investigation is not over, and it does seem that the truth of this matter is getting slowly revealed. It is also evident that Dr. Fauci did himself absolutely no favors in the Senate hearing today, and the court of public opinion is most heavily against him from what I see. If he is innocent, he has a tremendous amount of work to do in order to show it, because it sure does not look like he is. He acts cornered.
Whether it is truly “cornered” or simply rhetorically “trapped” remains to be seen, but today did not go well for this man.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.