Fauci returns to Cruz over COVID allegations about Chinese lab
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, criticized Senator Ted Cruz for suggesting that Fauci be investigated over comments he made about COVID-19 and said the Texas Republican’s criticism was an attack on science.
“Should I be prosecuted? What happened on January 6, senator?” Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS “Face the Nation.” It was a reference to the violent insurrection in the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump that was stoked as Cruz helped lead the Republican Party’s objections to Congress’ ratification of the results of the 2020 election.
“I’m just going to do my job and I’m going to save lives, and they’re going to lie,” Fauci said.
Some Republicans, including Cruz and Senator Rand Paul, accused Fauci of lying to Congress when he denied in May that the National Institutes of Health funded “gain-the-job” research — the practice of boosting the virus in a lab to study its potential real-world impact — at a virology lab in Wuhan, China. . Cruz urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Fauci’s remarks.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called the GOP criticism nonsense.
“Anyone who looks at this carefully understands that there is a distinct anti-science flavor to this,” he said.
Cruz and Paul say the October letter from the National Institutes of Health to Congress contradicts Fauci. But there is no clear evidence or scientific consensus that “gain-a-job” research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, nor is there a link between US-funded research and the emergence of COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health has repeatedly emphasized that its funding has not gone to such research involving increased susceptibility to infections and deadly pathogens.
When asked in an interview with CBS whether Republicans were raising allegations to make him a scapegoat and preclude criticism of Trump, Fauci said, “Of course, you have to sleep to not even think about it.”