Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently found himself in the crosshairs of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s ire, notably after he openly called for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to commence prosecution against Fauci for allegedly lying to Congress over gain-of-function research funding.
Fauci, who serves as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made a joke regarding the events of January 6 during an appearance on CBS News’s Face the Nation when he was asked about various Republican legislators who have assailed him. When Cruz’s name surfaced, Fauci turned attention to Capitol Hill.
“I have to laugh at that,” Fauci chortled during the interview, “I should be prosecuted? What happened on January 6, Senator?”
Cruz was amongst several Republican senators who openly challenged the outcome of the 2020 election in the weeks leading up to January 6. Though the breach at Capitol Hill disrupted the tallying of electoral votes, Joe Biden’s victory was confirmed shortly afterwards.
In addition, Cruz has also allied with other GOP legislators who have levied accusations against Fauci regarding his commentary to Congress regarding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, which reported the first coronavirus cases in 2019. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) also referred Fauci to the DOJ for prosecution, though Fauci has yet to receive any charges.
In the past month, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed that EcoHealth Alliance had in fact violated its grant rules by failing to report critical research findings, namely that mice became significantly sicker when they were infected by certain strains of bat coronavirus. However, EcoHealth Alliance insists that it adhered to all reporting requirements.
However, Fauci has repeatedly denied that the NIH funded gain-of-function research, and the institution also fiercely denies any claims that funds were diverted towards any laboratory work that initiated the pandemic. However, various critics, including Paul, argue that the NIH letter serves as confirmation that the lab collaborator in Wuhan had indeed been engaging in the gain-of-function research denied by Fauci.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), gain-of-function research can be defined as research “that improves the ability of a pathogen to cause disease” in order to “enable assessment of the pandemic potential of emerging infectious agents.” In addition, the definition also carries a warning label, noting that studies could “entail biosafety and biosecurity risks.”
Despite the inherent dangers in gain-of-function research, Fauci insists that the Republicans are the ones who are spurring on a “dangerous” game through attacked him. Fauci claimed that attacks on him were comparable to attacks on science.
“Anybody who’s looking at [GOP criticism] carefully realized that there’s a distinct anti-science flavor to this,” Fauci complained, adding that such criticisms are “dangerous.”
“They’re really criticizing science because I represent science,” Fauci concluded.