Tom Cotton Demands Fauci Be ‘Investigated and Prosecuted’ for Funding Gain-of-Function Research in Wuhan Lab

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., interrupts a fellow senator during a confirmation hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee for CIA nominee Gina Haspel, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP Photo

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Wednesday demanded Dr. Anthony Fauci be “investigated and prosecuted” for funding gain-of-function research in Communist China’s Wuhan lab.

“Fauci knew,” Cotton tweeted about Fauci’s previous denial to the Senate in May that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab. “He should be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Cotton said.

When Fauci was asked before the Senate if the NIH had funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab, Fauci replied that the NIH “has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. Top federal health officials discussed efforts for safely getting back to work and school during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Al Drago – Pool/Getty Images)

But a letter from the NIH, revealed by molecular biologist Richard H. Ebright, admits the NIH did fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab in China. Breitbart News reported the following:

The NIH’s October 20 letter to House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) showed that the NIH grant, which was awarded to EcoHealth Alliance and then sub-awarded to the Wuhan lab, funded a research project during 2018 and 2019 that tested “if spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.”

The letter added, “In this limited experiment, laboratory mice infected with the SHC014 WIV1 bat coronavirus became sicker than those infected with the WIV1 bat coronavirus.”

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “gain-of-function” research is research that improves the ability of a pathogen to cause disease.

In exposing the letter, Ebright tweeted that the NIH corrected its “untruthful assertions” about funding gain-of-function research and accused Fauci and Francis Collins of “willfully” lying to Congress.

“NIH corrects untruthful assertions by NIH Director Collins and NIAID Director Fauci that NIH had not funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan,” Ebright said. “The NIH–specifically, Collins, Fauci, and Tabak–lied to Congress, lied to the press, and lied to the public. Knowingly. Willfully. Brazenly.”

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.

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