Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has vowed to investigate Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, if he succeeds as next chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, as is likely if Republicans take the Senate.
After cruising to reelection Tuesday, Paul, who’s long feuded with Fauci in congressional hearings, said he plans to subpoena him for records regarding funding the National Institutes of Health provided to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a site that has been at the center of a theory that COVID-19 was the result of a lab leak.
“I promise you this I will subpoena every last scrap of paper from our friend Dr. Fauci,” Paul said during his victory speech in Kentucky. “As chairman, I will not only hold Dr. Fauci accountable, [but] we will finally investigate why your tax dollars were sent to fund dangerous research in Wuhan, and we will make sure it never happens again.”
Paul and Fauci have gotten into several heated exchanges over the issue, with Paul accusing Fauci of creating “superviruses” through NIH funding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Fauci has repeatedly denied these claims.
Paul also promised that he will hold additional hearings into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paul had previously not indicated whether he was interested in the chair on the health committee, which has broad jurisdiction over education, healthcare, employment, and retirement policies, or the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee but has been adamant he will continue investigations into the origins of COVID-19 past Fauci’s retirement this year.
With Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) retiring, Paul is the most senior Republic in line to lead the key health committee.