Fauci has not been ‘exactly honest,’ questions on Wuhan lab funding must be answered: Nancy Mace
After Dr. Anthony Fauci was pressed over how the Wuhan lab used the National Institute of Health’s funding, Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C, said on Tuesday that the chief medical advisor to the president has “not been exactly honest” throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“We should be very distrusting of China at this point. If it wasn’t spent on gain of function, then what was it spent on and why can’t Dr. Fauci answer the question?” Mace told “America Reports.”
“Dr. Fauci hasn’t been exactly honest throughout Covid-19, as we all know, and I think that should be pointed out. It’s an honest question that the American people should have answered,” Mace said, adding that mainstream reporters are finally coming around to demanding answers about where the virus came from.
Mace’s comments came after Sen. Tom Cotton saying that Dr. Anthony Fauci and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) need to “come clean” about providing funding for a Wuhan lab in China, as the GOP senator demanded a “credible” investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cotton, R-Ark., expressed doubt that the taxpayer money that went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to study coronaviruses did not support “gain of function” research, which involves modifying a virus to make it more infectious among humans. Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has said the money was not for gain of function research, but rather studying bats.
“I hope Tony Fauci gives some straight answers today for once,” Cotton told “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday in advance of the doctor’s testimony before a Senate committee.
“They need to come clean with the American people, they need to stop playing word games,” Cotton continued. “They need to explain why they funded that research apparently in violation of at least the spirit, if not the letter, of an Obama White House directive.”
Cotton, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and other Republicans are concerned about a $600,000 grant from NIAID that went to a group called EcoHealth Alliance, which then paid the Wuhan Institute of Virology to study the risk that bat coronaviruses could infect humans.
Fauci on Tuesday defended the “modest” collaboration with scientists in Wuhan, saying it would have been “almost a dereliction of our duty if we didn’t study this, and the only way you can study these things is you’ve got to go where the action is,” referencing the early-2000s SARS outbreak, which is presumed to have come from bats.
“You don’t want to study bats in Fairfax County, Virginia, to find out what the animal-human interface is that might lead to a jumping of species,” Fauci continued. “So we had a modest collaboration with very respectable Chinese scientists who were world experts on coronavirus, and we did that through a sub-grant from a larger grant to EcoHealth.”
But under questioning by Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., Wednesday during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Fauci acknowledged that he’s relying on the statements and research from the “competent trustworthy scientists” in China who said they did not fund gain of function research with the U.S. grant money.
“Have you ever had a grantee lie to you?” Kennedy asked.
“I cannot guarantee that a grantee has not lied to us, because you never know,” Fauci responded.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.