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Fauci Defends Against GOP Attacks in Fiery Hearing on COVID-19 Origins and Lab Leak Theory



Dr. Fauci

In his first public testimony Dr. Fauci left his government job at the end of 2022. Dr. Anthony Fauci faced strong criticism from Republican politicians during a hearing on Monday. The hearing held to talk about what we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Fauci appeared to the house select subcommittee on the coronavirus pandemic. During the hearing he denied many accusations that made against him over the past few years.

Several Republican members of the subcommittee question Dr. Fauci about funding for virology research in China. Which they said approved by the National Institutes of Health under his watch.

Some conspiracy theories claim this research which caused the coronavirus to leak from a lab. Dr. Fauci also responded to questions about whether his team tried to hide details of this research from the public.


In his opening statement Dr. Fauci said it is possible that the virus leaked from a lab. He explained that since we still do not know where the pandemic started. So, he keeps an open mind about it. However, he denied any important information about a possible lab leak.

I do not think the idea of a lab leak is necessarily a conspiracy theory Dr. Fauci said. The conspiracy is the wild stories about it like saying there was a lab leak and I was secretly working with the CIA to cover it up. That is the conspiracy.

The subcommittee did not provide any evidence connecting Dr. Fauci to the origins of the coronavirus.

Dr. Fauci become a major target for supporters of former President Donald Trump. Many blame him for the pandemic based on many false or mislead claims. There are now frequent calls from the political right to prosecute Dr. Fauci for unspecified crimes.


In his testimony on Monday Dr. Fauci explained that he took part in a call with about a dozen scientists in early 2020. They discuss how the virus started and considered the possibility that it came from a lab. After further investigation the group concluded that the virus spread from animals to humans.

The claim that I influenced the scientists to change their minds by bribing them with millions of dollars in grant money completely false and ridiculous Dr. Fauci said.

He already testified about these same topics before the same subcommittee in a private hearing in January.

A poster shown during hearing that children wore mask in class rooms.
A poster shown during hearing that children wore mask in class rooms.

Before retirement Dr. Fauci testify Congress multiple times about his role which is leading the response to the pandemic. He lead the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases from 1984 to 2022. He served on former President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force and later joined President Joe Biden’s Covid response team.

In Monday hearing Democrats praised Dr. Fauci as a dedicated public servant and criticized Republicans for unfairly attack him.


Some members of the United States House of Representatives want to tarnish your reputation said Rep. Jamie Raskin from Maryland. They were treating you Dr. Fauci as if you are a criminal who already found guilty.

During a tense moment Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia sparked outrage from several House colleagues. She stated that Dr. Fauci should in jail and lose his medical license. She claimed that Dr. Fauci medical advice resulted in children forced to wear masks in schools. Additionally in a bizarre tangent she accused him of approve experiments that involved in torturing beagles.

“I think Fauci should be in jail. He should be put on trial for causing a lot of deaths, and for doing very bad things to humanity. That’s how I feel after listening to that hearing,” she said.

Several Democrats said sorry to Fauci for the rude comments.


This might be the craziest meeting I have ever been to, said Rep. Robert Garcia from California. I have only in Congress for a year and a half. But I feel really bad that you have to deal with those kinds of mean attacks and craziness.

For months the Republican led house select subcommittee on the coronavirus pandemic has been looking into where the coronavirus came from. They mainly interested in whether it could leaked from a lab. They were also studying rules about wear masks and get vaccinated.

Much of the focus during monday is hearing on EcoHealth Alliance a non profit group that got money from the US government for work to prevent pandemics. In May the Department of Health and Human Services stop giving money to this organization. They said EcoHealth Alliance did not keep a good eye on the research it was part of at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. They also did not give the government the information they asked for on time.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, a Republican from Ohio who leads the House subcommittee, said on Monday that because of Dr. Fauci’s leadership, the head of EcoHealth Alliance, Peter Daszak, got to use millions of taxpayer dollars for risky experiments in Wuhan where they changed a coronavirus.


Members of the subcommittee claimed that EcoHealth Alliance helped with what’s called gain-of-function research. This type of research makes a virus more likely to spread. However, EcoHealth Alliance has said that what they were doing didn’t fit the definition of this kind of research.

Republicans also asked Dr. Fauci about his connection with his former aide, David Morens, who used personal email to talk with Daszak, a friend of his. Members of the subcommittee said that some of Morens’ emails suggest he tried to avoid public records rules.

Dr. Fauci said that Morens broke the policy of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). He also said that based on what they know now, it seems like Morens’ conversations with Daszak could seen as a conflict of interest.

Fauci clarified that he never used his personal email for official work.


He also stressed that none of the viruses studied with money from the National Institutes of Health could have turned into SARS-CoV-2.

According to Cameron Hickey, CEO of the National Conference on Citizenship, a nonprofit that works on strengthening U.S. democracy, Dr. Fauci has been the main target of extreme conspiracy theories online since the start of the pandemic.

Hickey explained that some people who are against vaccines see Dr. Fauci as the main person spreading lies about where the pandemic started. They also think he’s making money from the vaccine and that he’s part of a group of powerful people who are making unnecessary rules like wearing masks and staying away from others.

On Monday, Dr. Fauci mentioned that he and his family are still facing harassment.


“There have serious threats to harm us, which led to two people being arrested — and these threats real. It means someone was planning to hurt me. Because of this, I need security protection all the time. It’s very worrying for me. What’s even more worrying is that they’ve targeted my wife and three daughters,” Fauci said, his voice filled with emotion.