Politics

Sen. Ted Cruz calls for Fauci to be investigated for “gain of function” research statements

In an interview that aired Sunday on CBS show “Face the Nation,” Dr. Anthony Fauci responded to Sen. Ted Cruz’s claim that he should be investigated for statements the epidemiologist made about COVID-19. Fauci said the criticism from the Texas senator was an attack on science.

“I should be prosecuted? What happened on January 6, senator?” Fauci is currently President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser. His comment was a reference to the riot that took place at the U.S. Capitol with the goal of stopping the election results’ certification, which secured Biden’s victory.

Cruz reportedly helped lead GOP objections to the Congressional certification. “I’m just going to do my job and I’m going to be saving lives, and they’re going to be lying,” he added. 

Several Republicans, like Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), have accused Fauci of lying to Congress when in May, he denied that the National Institutes of Health funded what is called “gain of function” research at a virology lab in Wuhan, China. “Gain of function” research is the practice of modifying and enhancing a virus in a laboratory setting in order to study its potential impact in the real world.

Cruz has encouraged Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special prosecutor to look into Fauci’s statements. Fauci, who is also the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the criticism from Republicans was illegitimate. “Anybody who’s looking at this carefully realizes that there’s a distinct anti-science flavor to this,” he said.

According to Paul and Cruz, an October letter to Congress from NIH contradicts what Fauci has claimed so far, but NIH has continually held that its funding did not go to “gain of function” research.

Fauci was asked in the interview if Republicans were raising the claims to use him as a scapegoat and deflect blame of Trump to which Fauci replied, “of course, you have to be asleep not to figure that one out.” 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CHRON.COM

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