Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared before Congress for another coronavirus hearing, and few were surprised that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tried to tangle with the esteemed immunologist.
The Kentucky Republican, himself an ophthalmologist, challenges Fauci nearly every time he updates Senate committees on the pandemic and then gets fact-checked by the physician.
"The SARS virus had a 15-precent mortality rate and we are fighting a pandemic that has about a 1-percent mortality [rate]," Paul said in Tuesday's exchange. "Can you imagine if a SARS virus that has been juiced up and had viral proteins added to it, if that were released accidentally? Do still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?"
Fauci quickly corrected the senator, saying his assertions weren't based in fact.
"With all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan institute," Fauci said. "We do not fund -- Dr. [Ralph] Baric does not do gain of function research, and if it is, it is according to the guidelines and is being conducted in North Carolina."
Many observers indicated they were sick of Paul, who later tried to clean up the mess on Twitter, and his antics.
@RandPaul You got flat-out embarrassed by Fauci. 🤣😂🤣— Brad B. (@Brad B.) 1620749081.0
@atrupar @SenRandPaul self-owning every time he sees Dr. Fauci. He's so intimidated by Fauci 😂 You love to see it.— Geoff (@Geoff) 1620745959.0
@atrupar In case anyone is wondering, the amount of respect due for Rand Paul is zero.— Nivze Sev (@Nivze Sev) 1620745760.0
Watching Dr. Fauci try to talk sense into Rand Paul is like having video of Galileo talking in the 1600s to Catholi… https://t.co/My7YObOdFd— JRehling (@JRehling) 1620749214.0
@RandPaul Is this an example of what the kids call an “own goal”?— Scott Vaughan (@Scott Vaughan) 1620749838.0
@garychoronzy @atrupar We don’t really know that, do we? 😆— Changfucius (@Changfucius) 1620745745.0
@RandPaul I just watched him whoop your ass.— luciDCarino (@luciDCarino) 1620749795.0
@joe_shands @atrupar That's what his constituents should do. It's the fundamental problem with current American politics— Plague Doctor Monkey (@Plague Doctor Monkey) 1620746034.0
@atrupar Don’t bring an ophthalmologist to an epidemiologist fight.— Josh Miller (@Josh Miller) 1620748611.0
@atrupar I love the guy sitting behind him trying not to laugh.— JulieA (@JulieA) 1620746660.0
@DebHyatt11 @atrupar Yep. It also proves that he would be justified in doing it again! 😏— DOGS LOVE UNCLE JOE!🌊🗽🇬🇧🇨🇦🇺🇸 (@DOGS LOVE UNCLE JOE!🌊🗽🇬🇧🇨🇦🇺🇸) 1620746040.0