Sen. Rand Paul, who has publicly criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci over the origins of COVID-19 and his advocacy of lockdowns and mandates, goes further in a new book by blaming Dr. Fauci for funding the creation of the virus with U.S. dollars and lying about it to Congress.
In interviews about the book, Mr. Paul said he believes Dr. Fauci is a traitor who helped create the pandemic and “without question” belongs in prison.
His assessment is dramatic. Mr. Paul, a Kentucky Republican serving his third term in the Senate, makes the case in the pages of “Deception: The Great Covid Cover-Up” that Dr. Fauci is at least partly to blame for the pandemic, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates has killed more than 1 million people in the U.S.
The book goes behind the scenes to investigate efforts to suppress the truth about the origins of the virus and the missteps that led to lockdowns and mandates that have since been largely denounced.
Dr. Fauci was at the center of it all, Mr. Paul writes.
Mr. Paul was among the first in Congress to challenge the vaunted director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases over his recommendations favoring lockdowns and vaccine mandates and his claims about the origins of the virus.
Dr. Fauci, who served as chief medical adviser to the president until December, has vigorously challenged Mr. Paul’s criticism and defended his handling of the pandemic response.
Mr. Paul’s book makes the case that Dr. Fauci skirted federal government safety guidelines to fund the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which many believe created the virus that causes COVID-19. He says the virus infected laboratory workers, who spread it to the general population.
Mr. Paul writes that Dr. Fauci orchestrated an elaborate cover-up of his involvement by persuading infectious disease experts to abandon their theories about a lab leak and publicly embrace the idea that the virus evolved from animals.
“He knew that his reputation and the billion-dollar ‘business of science’ depended on distancing himself, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, from any research in Wuhan,” Mr. Paul wrote.
Dr. Fauci has repeatedly denied funding the creation of the virus and said Mr. Paul’s effort to pin it on him is “egregiously incorrect.” He has accused Mr. Paul of distorting information and fueling threats against him and his family. He also has criticized Mr. Paul for promoting his opposition to him in fundraising emails.
“You are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political gain,” Dr. Fauci told Mr. Paul at a 2022 hearing.
Mr. Paul insists Dr. Fauci has it backward.
The opening of the book explains Dr. Fauci’s efforts to suppress evidence that the virus originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, and did not spread from animals sold in nearby wet markets.
Mr. Paul chronicles efforts to shape that narrative, including Dr. Fauci’s move to exclude CDC Director Robert Redfield from essential meetings about the emerging virus.
Early in the pandemic, Dr. Redfield and others expressed concern that the virus was created in a laboratory and leaked from China’s Wuhan Institute of Technology.
The CDC director tangled with Dr. Fauci earlier in their careers when Dr. Redfield took the side of critics worried that gain-of-function research would create deadly pathogens not found in nature.
Dr. Fauci’s exclusion of Dr. Redfield was part of a pattern of deception, the book says.
“Americans were deliberately kept ignorant of the raging debate in the scientific community over gain-of-function research,” Mr. Paul wrote. “Fauci was deeply invested in having people believe there was overwhelming scientific consensus concerning the great value of gain-of-function research as a method to identify threats and prevent future pandemics.”
In this case, the research killed millions worldwide, Mr. Paul said.
Dr. Fauci denies greenlighting or funding gain-of-function research, but Mr. Paul wrote that government emails released under court order show Dr. Fauci tried to hide his involvement. In fact, he said, NIH had been funding coronavirus gain-of-function research with his approval but without a review by a special pandemic committee empaneled to oversee such dangerous studies.
Mr. Paul’s charged exchanges with Dr. Fauci at Senate committee hearings often went viral. In his book, he recalls cross-examining Dr. Fauci at one of those hearings about his approval of gain-of-function research despite its deadly risks.
“He argued that his experts all informed him that the research was not gain-of-function or dangerous,” Mr. Paul wrote.
Mr. Paul suspects Dr. Fauci lied.
“One wonders how he was informed of this opinion since the research in question had never been examined by the very committee expressly set up to evaluate the risk of creating pandemic viruses,” Mr. Paul wrote.
The book dedicates a chapter to making the case for the lab leak theory, which the scientific community and the Biden administration now largely embrace.
The U.S. has suspended all funding for the Wuhan Institute of Technology after concluding it did not comply with federal regulations.
Mr. Paul writes of his effort in the Senate to combat the government’s handling of its pandemic response.
He battled lawmakers against the massive COVID-19 aid spending bills that have contributed to high inflation and interest rates and billions of dollars lost to fraud.
He quoted coverage in The Washington Times of the 5,593-page, $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief legislation that Congress passed in December 2020.
“This is insane,” he told The Times. “They are ruining the country” with these fiscally irresponsible bailouts. “The majority of Republicans are now no different than socialist Democrats when it comes to debt.”
He also chronicles his public battles with Dr. Fauci over naturally acquired immunity. Dr. Fauci never acknowledged natural immunity as he pushed for vaccines, vaccine boosters, social distancing, masks and, at one point, double masking.
Mr. Paul, a practicing ophthalmologist, was among a handful of lawmakers who did not wear a face covering in the Senate during the masking mandates. He cited the natural immunity he acquired from contracting COVID-19 in March 2020.
Masks are theater, Mr. Paul told Dr. Fauci at a heated Senate hearing in March 2021, and people who have already battled COVID-19 don’t need them.
“If you already have immunity, you are wearing a mask to give comfort to others. You are not wearing a mask because of any science,” Mr. Paul said.
In response, Dr. Fauci cited “variants now circulating.”
Mr. Paul concluded that Dr. Fauci’s opinion was pessimistic and wrong.
“What we would find out over time is that the vaccines worked less well against each subsequent variant but that prior infection had a new perfect record of preventing hospitalization or death from a subsequent COVID infection.”
In an interview on Trinity Broadcasting Network, Mr. Paul said the government’s control over society during the pandemic backfired, partly because people eventually made their own assessments and decisions about the dangers of the virus.
He cited current statistics indicating that COVID-19 vaccination rates for children younger than 4, who are among the least likely to become ill, are as low as 3% in some states.
“It’s a conceit of governments, the idea that we’re smarter than you. It’s an elitist concept, but it is also something accepted by a lot of people up here in Washington who say, let’s just ask the experts,” Mr. Paul said. “And really, I’m the opposite. I think people are much smarter than you give them credit for.”
For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.