Oct 24, 2021 - Axios on HBO

Rand Paul claims vindication in battle with Anthony Fauci

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Mike Allen in an interview for "Axios on HBO" that President Biden should fire Anthony Fauci "just for lack of judgment, if nothing else."

The big picture: Paul claims vindication in his dispute with Fauci, played out at heated Senate hearings, over the level of risk of U.S.-funded research in Wuhan, where COVID began.

  • "He's probably never going to admit that he lied," Paul told "Axios on HBO." "He's gonna continue to dissemble, and try to work around the truth, and massage the truth."

Fauci dismissed the charges in an interview Sunday on "ABC This Week."

  • "I obviously totally disagree with Senator Paul," Fauci told ABC host George Stephanopoulos. "He's absolutely incorrect. Neither I nor Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the NIH, lied or misled about what we've done."

Fauci told Stephanopoulos the implication of the criticism is that the research led to COVID-19.

  • But the doctor said it's "molecularly impossible for those viruses that were worked on to turn into SARS-CoV-2," or COVID-19.
  • "They were distant enough molecularly that no matter what you did to them, they could never, ever become SARS-CoV-2."

Fauci added that the U.S. "knew what the risk was and what the oversight is" at the Wuhan lab.

  • "Certainly, they should have put their progress report in a timely manner," Fauci said. "No denial of that, and there will be administrative consequences of that."

Go deeper: COVID origins — Unanswered questions on Wuhan outbreak

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