Politifact: Sen. Rand Paul, who you have tangled with in the past, suggested that you and the NIH funded risky research that eventually down the line was connected to COVID-19? I don’t want to dwell on this for too long but I do want to give you that chance to react to his comments today.Fauci: That’s actually preposterous. To bring something up is really not helpful. He was saying that we funded a kind of research in China that could lead to dangerous research. That’s not the case. So what he was saying was absolutely not true. It is really unfortunate that he brought that up. It really does nothing but cloud the issue of what we are trying to do. So it was just unfortunate that he said that.Politifact: That has been the subject for a lot of our fact-checking on the coronavirus for the past year. There’s a lot of cloudiness around the origins of COVID-19 still. So I wanted to ask are you still confident that COVID developed naturally?Fauci: No actually, that’s the point that I said. And I think that the real unfortunate aspect of what Senator Paul did was he was conflating research in a collaborative way with Chinese scientists which was — you’d almost have to say that if we did not do that then we’d be almost irresponsible because SARS-COVI-1 clearly originated in China… So we really had to learn a whole lot about the viruses that were there, about whether or not people were getting infected with bad viruses. So in a very minor collaboration as part of a sub-contract as part of a grant, we had a collaboration with some Chinese scientists. And what he conflated that was that we were involved in creating the virus. Which is the most ridiculous majestic leap I’ve ever heard of.
Sunday, May 23, 2021
Fauci Is Squirming
Polling is showing that Fauci is struggling with his credibility. The fact that, even on left wing shows where he's most likely to appear and be treated like royalty or a saint, he's being asked about the issues that Rand Paul has raised. The left media has likely been emboldened to question Fauci by exposés in New York magazine and most recently by liberal science journalist Nicholas Wade, as well as by liberal icons like pollster Nate Silver who has stated that Fauci has "gaslighted" the public.
Politifact's questioning is fair, but very accurate and persistent. They had Fauci on the hook from the start by specifying that Rand Paul "suggested" that "the NIH funded risky research that eventually down the line was connected to COVID-19?" Fauci desperately wants to distance himself from that--he interjects "dangerous" for "risky" and then says it's "absolutely not true" that NIH funded research was "dangerous." But he doesn't want to touch that business about research that "eventually down the line was connected to COVID-19?" Read and parsed carefully, his reply does NOT deny that NIH funded research was "connected to COVID-19" "eventually down the line."
The giveaway is that Fauci is mentally squirming is that he feels the need to return to that idea in the second Q&A exchange. To their credit, Politifact doesn't just accept Fauci's blanket and disingenuous denial. They appear to have been prepared for Fauci's tactic but, instead of getting tangled up in a dispute about what Rand Paul said or implied or suggested, and what Fauci's denials really denied and on and on, Politifact comes back with a slightly different line of questioning that has Fauci scrambling and implicitly admitting what he attempted to deny in the first answer.
Politifact--without mentioning Rand Paul by name--asks if Fauci is still confident that COVID developed "naturally". Fauci has to admit that he's not. The problem is that that looks like he's admitting what he first attempted to deny. As a result he feels obliged to give a somewhat long, convoluted, and typically disingenuous explanation of his admission. Once you start trying to explain what you just said, you're treading on thin ice. What Fauci's explanation amounts to is setting up a straw man and knocking it down. Thus: "No, we [presumably NIH] were not involved in creating the virus." But Rand Paul never said that NIH helped create the virus--simply that NIH funded research that ended up being connected to the lab origins of COVID-19. And Fauci doesn't dare deny that.
Reading between the lines, Fauci has now basically admitted all of that. The one fig leaf that he's trying to maintain is that the research they funded was necessary and not dangerous. The problem he faces is that he is now being forced to admit that Covid is a lab creation, that it was developed from SARS Classic, and that NIH was funding research into SARS Classic. But was that a "risky" strategy? I think that's a distinction without a difference, and I also think more and more people are coming to see that. Fauci, with each appearance, is creating a record of disingenuous non-denials that future questioners can use to challenge him.
Fauci's utility to the Left is winding down. The Left's problem is how to dump him while somehow distancing themselves from complicity in the casedemic that Fauci created.
ADDENDUM: Notably, Politifact has quietly withdrawn its year old "pants on fire" claim that the Wuhan Lab origins of Covid was a "debunked conspiracy theory." So obviously there's movement on the Left. They see the casedemic hoax starting to crumble and they're starting to look for a scapegoat. It's starting to look like Fauci could wind up being "it".