White House COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci said that he has "no problem at all" testifying before the House after it was projected that Republicans would win the majority in the lower chamber.
While it is unclear what party will control the House of Representatives, Republicans need only one seat called in the party's favor to get 218 seats. Several prominent lawmakers, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), have said they plan on investigating Fauci and whether his agency funded controversial research of viruses in China.
Comer, in an interview with Fox News last week, reiterated that he'll target Fauci's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his agency's connection to the Wuhan laboratory.
“We also want to get to the bottom of the origination of COVID-19. We believe that Dr. Fauci and Dr. Collins took steps to hinder investigations early on. We don’t think they’ve been honest with how they’ve spent a lot of tax dollars, especially when they went to the Wuhan lab.” Comer said, referring to Francis Collins, the former head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
During remarks at the STAT event, Fauci attempted to characterize any future investigations as politically motivated.
“Because others choose to drive me into the political arena, does not mean I am in the political arena in what I do, what I think, what I say, what I advise,” Fauci said, adding that it "does not mean all of a sudden I have turned political.” Later in the event, he criticized former President Donald Trump.
“Dr. Fauci, as you are aware, it is a crime to lie to Congress,” Paul told the longtime chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a sub-agency within the National Institutes of Health, during a Senate hearing in July 2021.
“On your last trip to our committee, on May 11, you stated that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. And yet gain of function research was done entirely in the Wuhan institute by Dr. Shi and was funded by the NIH,” the senator also remarked. “Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement?” Paul later asked.
In that hearing, Fauci bristled at Paul's statements and questions.
“Sen. Paul, I have never lied before the Congress and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you are referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain of function,” Fauci told the senator.
"You do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about,” he added to Paul.