As most people know by now Senator Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci got into a heated exchange yesterday in which Fauci called Rand Paul a “liar” for claiming the NIH funded gain of function experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The reaction to Fauci’s outburst is pretty much as you would expect. Mainstream media outlets praise Fauci for standing up to Paul, while conservative news outlets express outrage that Fauci would call a sitting US Senator who was also a medical doctor a “liar.”

During an interview with Brian Kilmeade Brett Giroir, former four-star Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, gave his take on the Fauci / Rand Paul exchange from the perspective of someone who has had to sit through similar hearings.

“It was a concerning exchange and I do believe probably Dr. Fauci was hiding behind a technical definitions of what the NIH might consider, quote, gain of function research. What they did fund was exactly what Rand Paul said,” Giroir said.

“They funded researchers to go in the hundreds of miles away into the back of bat caves, extract dangerous viruses from bats that have never been seen by humans before, and bring them to a city of 10 million people in the Wuhan lab.”

“Next, they chopped up those viruses and created new Frankenstein viruses to see if they could infect human cells. That that may not technically be quote gain of function research but it’s dangerous research and senator Paul’s questions deserve to be answered.”

Watch the whole thing:

Rather than editorialize further, here’s a transcript of the entire exchange, it stands alone and is very enlightening:

Kilmeade: “Admiral, what should we know about that exchange?”

Adm. Giroir: “It was a concerning exchange and I do believe probably Dr. Fauci was hiding behind a technical definitions of what the NIH might consider, quote, gain of function research. What they did fund was exactly what Rand Paul said.

They funded researchers to go in the hundreds of miles away into the back of bat caves, extract dangerous viruses from bats that have never been seen by humans before, and bring them to a city of 10 million people in the Wuhan lab.

Next, they chopped up those viruses and created new Frankenstein viruses to see if they could infect human cells. That that may not technically be quote gain of function research but it’s dangerous research and senator Paul’s questions deserve to be answered.

If I were a betting man and I’m not. I would bet all those viruses got immediately channeled into the Chinese bioweapons program with the Chinese military that we know were operating at the Wuhan lab. Legitimate questions. I don’t think we got a legitimate answer.”

Kilmeade: You worked with Dr. Fauci. Have you ever seen him so rattled or inappropriate in a Senate hearing?

Adm. Giroir: “No, I really haven’t. He is usually pretty cool in those hearings. And I was really concerned because I don’t think that posture was good for him, good for the hearing, or go to inspire confidence in the American people.

Look, I was in that chair, senator Murray, senator Warren beat us up in the Trump Administration. But you take it respectfully. That’s part of the process.

I have never ever seen and I hope it never happens again that a witness who is a public health official calls a U.S. Senator a liar and doesn’t know what he was talking about when clearly senator Paul read the paper and had important points to be made.”

Kilmeade: “So he did fund gain of function research, right?”

Adm. Giroir: “Well, I don’t know what the NIH considers. I described the research. It is extremely dangerous concerning research. If this originated from a bat cave, why would we go out and look for trouble and bring it to a city of 10 million people and then chop that virus up?

So, you know, there’s probably legal definitions of what it is or what it isn’t. Had the point is, this research was potentially dangerous research that brought dangerous viruses in, chopped them up, made new viruses and looked at their infectivity.

Now, to me, that’s gain of function research or could lead directly to gain of function research, but under any definition, that is something that needs to be investigated, Congress in a bipartisan way needs to completely open the can a Mona on NIH research and accountability for that research.”

Kilmeade: “Problem is one side is not curious and I don’t get it, Admiral.”

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