Rand Paul: I’m concerned U.S. is still funding Chinese research into deadly viruses

Rand Paul: I’m concerned U.S. is still funding Chinese research into deadly viruses
AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool
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Senator Rand Paul has expressed concern that U.S. funding is still being used by the Chinese Communist regime to research and develop biological weapons. 

Speaking with Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro on Saturday, Paul said, “I’m very worried that this stuff still goes on and that the U.S. government’s been funding it.”

Paul went on to discuss “gain-of-function” research, which involves the studies of methods to increase a microorganism’s transmissibility or virulence.

“Gain-of-function is basically when you have an animal virus that normally just infects animals, and you somehow mutate it or force it to evolve so it can affect humans. So it’s making it more transmissible to humans, and oftentimes making it more dangerous or deadly in humans,” Paul said. “I’ll give you an example. In 2004, there was a virus, a coronavirus called SARS. It killed a bunch of people. It had a 15 percent mortality.”

“In the Wuhan lab, they were studying this SARS virus, and they were putting new proteins on it to make it more infectious to humans,” Paul continued. “That’s gain-of-function. That’s dangerous. And that may be how this virus started. And so, I’m very worried that this stuff still goes on, and that the U.S. government is funding it.”

It was reported last week that the Biden State Department “ended an inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic that was investigating whether the virus stemmed from a leak out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” according to Fox News. The Biden administration later reversed its decision after criticism and has called on the intelligence community to investigate the origins of the virus.

Pirro asked Paul why the Biden administration would decide to “stop the investigation into the origins of the Wuhan virus,” especially given China’s reluctance to provide any transparency regarding the virus’ origins. 

“I think there’s been a sea-change in the last two or three weeks on this. A year ago, anybody who mentioned the possibility that this virus came out of the Wuhan lab were dismissed as crazy right-wing cooks, conspiracy theorists, etc,” Paul said. “But now you have even MSNBC coming around. You have the left starting to wonder about it. When I introduced my amendment to say we should quit funding this research in China, I ended up getting every Democrat on board.”

“So I think they either know information, or they suspect that this information is gonna get stronger and stronger, that this came from the lab,” Paul continued.

“We’ve got a lot of evidence pointing to this lab now,” Paul added.

Pirro then asked the senator why “gain-of-function” research is even carried out.

“They say they’re doing it so that they can study these viruses that jump from animals to humans. The problem is that they are creating something that’s novel; they are creating something that doesn’t exist in nature,” Paul responded. “We’re creating Frankenstein super-viruses that, if they leak out of the lab, accidentally or on purpose, could devastate the world. The SARS virus is fifteen times more deadly. If that one gets out, and we enhance its ability to be transmitted, that could kill 50, 100 million people.”

“This shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” Paul noted. “This should be debated.”

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