On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate broke out in applause after passing an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul that bans the use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund gain-of-function research in China passed the chamber.
Paul said in his speech before the vote took place, “We may never know whether the pandemic arose from the lab in Wuhan, but we do know that so far no intermediate animal host has been discovered.”
The rare moment of bipartisanship was highlighted by the fact that the amendment passed by voice vote.
SENATE: The Senate chamber erupts into cheers after an amendment proposed by @RandPaul that bans US funding of gain-of-function research in China is passed by unanimous voice vote pic.twitter.com/8fQ6hAWpuW
— Forbes (@Forbes) May 25, 2021
Sen. Paul: ‘We’ve Tried To Infect COVID-19 Into Bats’
“Thousands of animals at the wet market have been looked at,” the senator continued. “None of them have carried COVID-19.”
Paul added, “We’ve tried to infect COVID-19 into bats; it doesn’t grow well in bats. It seems suitable for humans.”
In a statement released after the amendment’s passage, Paul said:
“While many still deny funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan, experts believe otherwise. The passage of my amendment ensures that this never happens in the future. No taxpayer money should have ever been used to fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan, and now we permanently have put it to a stop.”
This amendment comes in the wake of Sen. Paul’s sparring match with top White House doctor Anthony Fauci recently.
Paul, a physician, pressed Fauci over NIH funding viral research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Today, the U.S. Senate passed my amendment that would permanently ban all funding of gain-of-function research in China. https://t.co/DJaNqIrgDa
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 25, 2021
Paul vs. Fauci Over COVID-19 Origins
The senator wondered about the possibility that COVID-19 was a product of “gain-of-function” research leaked from the Wuhan lab.
“Dr. Fauci, do you still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?” Paul asked.
“Sen. Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely, entirely and completely incorrect,” Fauci replied. “The NIH has not ever, and does not now, fund ‘gain of function research’ in the Wuhan Institute.”
Paul said on Tuesday after his amendment passed, “We may not know whether this ever arose out of a Wuhan lab, but I think gain-of-function research where we take a deadly virus — sometimes much more deadly than COVID — and then we increase its transmissibility to mammals is wrong.”
“In 2014, [National Institutes of Health] stopped all of this research,” Paul added. “I’m using the same definition to say any gain-of-function research should not be funded in China with U.S. taxpayer dollars.”
Q: “Do you believe Dr. Fauci perjured himself in front of Congress [regarding gain of function research]?”
SEN. RAND PAUL: “Absolutely. He lied to the American people.”
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 25, 2021
After the amendment passed by voice vote, cheers echoed throughout the U.S. Senate.
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