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Paul: ‘Very likely’ another pandemic could come from China

By CM Chaney · October 25, 2023

In brief…

  • Sen. Rand Paul says next pandemic likely to come from China due to risky virus research
  • He believes COVID originated from Chinese gain-of-function studies funded by U.S.
  • Paul wants Fauci prosecuted for allegedly lying about funding of Wuhan research
  • Senator says Biden administration slow to cut funding to Wuhan lab
  • He is pushing for legislation to increase oversight of risky virus experiments
Sen. Rand Paul (above) believes the next pandemic could stem from China's continued risky virus experiments and wants tighter oversight and prosecution of officials like Fauci who he alleges lied about funding of controversial research in Wuhan.  Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia

Sen. Rand Paul believes the next pandemic is “very likely” to originate from China due to the country’s continued risky virus experiments, he told in an exclusive interview.

The Kentucky Republican said it’s “worrisome that they keep doing it; it’s incredibly dangerous” regarding Chinese virus research. When asked about the risk of such experiments causing another outbreak, Sen. Paul said, “that’s very likely,” adding it “wouldn’t be the first time.”

Sen. Paul contends COVID-19 stemmed from controversial gain-of-function research funded by U.S. taxpayers through Dr. Anthony Fauci’s former agency. Though once branded a “conspiracy theory,” the lab leak theory has gained more acceptance over time, the senator said.

“I do think the veneer has broken down over time, and I do think that as more and more evidence has come out and people realize that every other time we had a spread from animals [to people], they were able to find an animal reservoir,” Sen. Paul said.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology, suspected of being COVID’s origin, has not received U.S. funding since 2020. However, Sen. Paul noted that the Biden administration took three years to formally propose cutting its funding despite concerns over lax oversight of risky research abroad.

The senator also wants Fauci prosecuted for allegedly lying under oath about gain-of-function funding. Fauci denied his agency funded such research in Wuhan, but emails and a government report indicate otherwise, Sen. Paul claims.

Lying under oath carries up to five years in prison, but Sen. Paul doubts Attorney General Merrick Garland will act, given his “partisan” stance. Still, the senator said it’s important to publicly air Fauci’s alleged dishonesty.

Sen. Paul believes greater oversight of virus research is needed to prevent future pandemics. He is working on legislation to establish a scientific committee to review risky studies, which he claims Fauci failed to properly do regarding Wuhan.