Rand Paul continues pressing Fauci for answers on NIH gain-of-function funding

Paul and Fauci got into heated exchange during doctor's latest appearance before Senate HELP Committee

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FIRST ON FOX: Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky continues to press Dr. Anthony Fauci for answers on the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) gain-of-function research funding.

Fox News Digital exclusively obtained Paul’s questions for the record following up on Fauci’s dramatic Jan. 11 testimony to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. 

Paul submitted 11 "yes or no" questions for Fauci to answer in a letter to Senate HELP Committee chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and ranking member Richard Burr, R-N.C, last week. 

FAUCI, PAUL CLASH OVER ACCUSATIONS OF ‘CHEAP POLITICS’ REGARDING ALLEGED ‘TAKEDOWN’ OF OTHER SCIENTISTS

Sen. Rand Paul questions Dr. Anthony Fauci during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the federal response to COVID-19 on Jan. 11, 2022 at Capitol Hill. 

Sen. Rand Paul questions Dr. Anthony Fauci during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the federal response to COVID-19 on Jan. 11, 2022 at Capitol Hill.  (Greg Nash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

"The American people deserve to know how this pandemic started, to know if the NIH funded dangerous gain-of-function research that may have caused this pandemic, and to remove from office anyone, such as Dr. Fauci, who let this happen," Paul told Fox News Digital in a Monday email. 

"In these questions, I am demanding simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers that aim to get us closer to the truth about the origins of COVID-19," he continued.

Paul’s questions for Fauci probed the doctor on the NIH gain-of-research funding, starting with the grant providing funds for "bat SARS-related coronaviruses to EcoHealth Alliance with a subcontract to the Wuhan Institute of Virology" (WIV).

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, July 20, 2021.

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, July 20, 2021. (Stefanie Reynolds / Reuters)

The Kentucky Republican also asked if Fauci was "prepared to retract your previous false testimony before the" Senate HELP Committee if he answered in the affirmative to any of the 11 questions.

"Thank you for your diligence in obtaining answers to members’ questions," Paul wrote in the Jan. 18 letter. "Please inform my staff when answers to these questions have been received."

Sen. Rand Paul questions Dr. Anthony Fauci during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss the federal response to COVID-19 on May 11, 2021, in Washington.

Sen. Rand Paul questions Dr. Anthony Fauci during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss the federal response to COVID-19 on May 11, 2021, in Washington. (Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)

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Paul and Fauci got into a heated exchange during the doctor’s latest appearance before the Senate HELP Committee that included personal jabs between the two officials.

Paul, a fierce critic of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases director, accused Fauci of playing a role in smearing doctors from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford who had positions different from his own.

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed reporting.