The next pandemic is ‘very likely’ to come from China because the country continues to perform risky virus manipulation tests, according to a top Senator.
DailyMail.com revealed this week Chinese virus hunters have been tinkering with novel pathogens which have a ‘high probability’ of infecting humans, despite concerns similar experiments led to the Covid outbreak.
On the risk of such research triggering another pandemic, Sen Paul said ‘that’s very likely’, adding ‘it wouldn’t be the first time’ – a reference to the Covid origin ‘lab leak’ theory.
Sen Paul – a onetime Presidential candidate – believes Covid was borne out of gain-of-function research that was bankrolled by the US taxpayer through Dr Anthony Fauci’s former department, a theory the FBI and other government agencies now subscribe to.
Senator Rand Paul got in a heated exchange with Dr. Anthony Fauci at a hearing in July 2021 when he again pushed the nation’s top immunologist on whether the U.S. funded gain of function research in Wuhan. Fauci responded with, ‘You do not know what you are talking about’
Yet early in the pandemic, lab leak believers were branded ‘conspiracy theorists’ and accused of being xenophobic.
Sen Paul told DailyMail.com: ‘I do think the veneer has broken down over time and I do think that as more and more evidence has come out and people realize that every other time we had a spread from animals [to people] they were able to find an animal reservoir.
‘This time, they never could find [an animal reservoir] and they looked at 80,000 animals in China and never found it.
‘Then, a lot of the scientific analysis of the virus… began coming forward and I think the debate has shifted.
‘But it’s still remarkable to me – not only Biden being slow on defunding Wuhan, or no longer funding it – we’ve yet to have one hearing in the Senate.
‘There really hasn’t been a willing partner or a curious Democrat to say, “hey, maybe this did came from the lab and it might happen again. So we should do something about it.”‘
The Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Chinese lab suspected to be the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic, has not received US money since 2020.
However, it has taken the Biden Administration three years to propose officially suspending its funding, despite numerous reports finding money was being sent overseas for dangerous research with very little oversight.
It’s estimated the US has spent $100 million in the past decade funding research in China.
Sen Paul is also calling for Dr Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), to face prosecution for what he says amounted to lying under oath.
The Kentucky lawmaker was thrust into the spotlight of the Covid pandemic debate after his infamous spat with Dr Fauci over whether the doctor knew dangerous experiments were going on in Wuhan.
They found eight novel viruses, including one belonging to the same family as Covid
Between 2015 and 2023, at least seven US entities supplied NIH grant money to labs in China performing animal experiments, totaling $3,306,061
The ex White House doctor said at the time his former department ‘has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.’
Gain-of-function research is medical research that genetically alters a virus to make it more deadly or infectious to try and get ahead of natural mutations that might occur.
But emails released in July dated Feb 1, 2020 reveal Dr Fauci acknowledged ‘scientists in Wuhan University are known to have been working on gain-of-function experiments to determine that molecular mechanisms associated with bat viruses adapting to human infection, and the outbreak originated in Wuhan.’
While the emails show Dr Fauci was aware of gain-of-function research going on in the lab, he never admitted the NIH funded it.
As the former director, Dr Fauci was responsible for signing off on such research grants.
However, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) determined in June the Wuhan Institute of Virology and Wuhan University did receive NIH funding, Sen Paul said in a July letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
In the letter, the senator called for an investigation into whether Dr Fauci lied under oath when he testified in front of a Senate committee in 2021.
Lying under oath is a federal offense that carries a punishment of up to five years in prison and earlier this month, Sen Paul said Dr Fauci ‘without question’ belongs in jail.
Shi Zhengli – dubbed the ‘Bat Lady’ or ‘Bat Woman’ for her work on bat coronaviruses – investigated the possibility Covid could have emerged from her lab in 2020, according to colleagues
The Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Chinese lab suspected to be the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic, has not received US money since 2020. However, it has taken the Biden Administration three years to propose officially suspending its funding
Sen Paul told DailyMail.com ‘It’s very difficult when you have an attorney general that’s very partisan like Merrick Garland.
‘I think he’s really probably one of the most partisan attorney generals we’ve had and I don’t expect he will prosecute Anthony Fauci, but I think it’s important when someone does commit a crime that you summarize the crime, show the proof and evidence of it and forward it for prosecution.
‘It’s important in the public eye that we have a debate over the dishonesty of Anthony Fauci because I think this type of research [gain-of-function], if we don’t address it, holds the great danger to us in the future.’
It is this lack of clarity and cooperation that drove the senator to write his book, Deception: The Great Covid Cover-up, in which he presents evidence that Covid was likely the result of gain-of-function research in China and that Dr Fauci knew about the virus’ origins from day one and tried to cover it up.
Now, Sen Paul told DailyMail.com he would like to see something akin to an international treaty or a scientific committee that would oversee and regulate potentially dangerous research on viruses, but he stopped short of wanting to ban the research altogether.
‘I think there is a lot of research where it is complicated and you would want scientists to help guide this,’ Sen Paul said.
Legislation he is working on would establish a committee of scientists from across disciplines to review each individual research project. While there was a similar group in place in 2017, Sen Paul said it only reviewed a handful of projects presented to it by the Trump administration.
However, the government was carrying out dozens of gain-of-function research. This, the senator said, is ‘one of our big complaints with Anthony Fauci.’
Sen Paul told DailyMail.com he believes Dr Fauci exempted research in Wuhan from review of the committee.
He added: ‘The fact that it was never reviewed, I think, is in itself a crime and, at the very least, bad judgment.’
The senator said Dr Fauci failed to provide documents showing review of the Chinese experiments and trying to get information from federal health agencies has been troubling.
Sen Paul added: ‘This is what sort of created the aura of this giant cover up. I believe the cover up extends into eight different agencies and hundreds of people.
‘All of these different people involved in this conspiracy know they funded dangerous research in China. And now they’re trying to hide it because they know that culpability for the pandemic was attached to them.
‘So some of them may not know each other… but there are dozens, if not hundreds, of people throughout our government that were involved in funding this research over time, and they’re all now trying to cover their tracks.’