Fauci should be fired after NIH admits funding gain-of-function research, Rand Paul says

Paul says gain-of-function research should be investigated by Congress

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said in an interview that aired Sunday night that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top disease specialist in the U.S., should be fired after last week’s revelation that the National Institutes of Health funded gain-of-function research on the coronavirus.

Paul was interviewed by Axios and mentioned a letter from the NIH to Ranking Member Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., that admitted to "limited experiment" conducted in order to test if "spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model," which critics say contradict Fauci’s long-held claim.

"He [Fauci] should be fired, Paul said. He continued, "just for lack of judgment if nothing else."

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Paul said that Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will likely never admit that he lied.

"He’s going to continue to disassemble and try to work around the truth and massage the truth," he said.

Mike Allen, the interviewer for Axios, told Paul that it is unlikely that President Biden would fire Fauci. Paul said that he would be content with an investigation into the gain-of-function research that he has been calling on for months.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images) (Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

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Fauci on Sunday told ABC News’ "This Week" he disagreed with Paul.

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"Neither I nor Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the NIH, lied or misled about what we’ve done," he said. Fauci said it's "molecularly impossible for those viruses that were worked on to turn into SARS-CoV-2."

Fox News' Caitlin McFall and The Associated Press contributed to this report.