If The GOP Wins The Senate, We May Be In For A Lot More Rand Paul Versus Anthony Fauci

Republicans hoping for an Anthony Fauci commeuppance have another reason to make sure they cast a vote in the midterms: Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul is rumored to be tapped as the future senior Republican on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), and could be leading hearings into Fauci’s dealings during COVID should the party take the Senate (widely considered a firm possibility at this late stage).

“If you help me win, I promise to subpoena every last document of Dr. Fauci’s unprecedented coverup,” said a Paul fundraising email sent Oct. 20, referring to Paul’s allegations that Fauci contributed to the virus’s creation by funding research in Wuhan, China — allegations Fauci has categorically denied.

An ophthalmologist by training, Paul is set to be the most senior Republican on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, better known as HELP, which oversees the nation’s health and education agencies as part of its expansive portfolio. The possibility has rattled health-care leaders and trade groups, worried that Paul will follow through on his criticism of “Big Pharma, the medical establishment and public health officials” for their stances on covid. Paul has argued that those groups wrongly quashed disagreements about how to fight the pandemic. In 2021, for instance, he called for more research into treatments such as ivermectin, noting that it was already in clinical trials to test its effectiveness against a number of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. The drug was subsequently shown to be ineffective against the coronavirus.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said earlier this year that he expects Paul to lead the health committee if Republicans take the Senate, given the pending retirement of Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the only GOP member withmore seniority, the Associated Press reported.

There are some reports, according to The Washington Post, that Paul could helm the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, but Paul himself has apparently not committed to either appointment. And, of course, the GOP hasn’t yet won the chamber.

But while liberals are chewing their nails over the possibility that Sen. “Fire Fauci” might have a more powerful position from which to question Fauci — whose National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is accused of funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab thought to have possibly played a role in the COVID pandemic — conservatives are reassured by the news.

“I’m not sure there is a single Senator who has more dogmatically pursued the truth regarding federal public health policy than Dr. Paul,” Josh Holmes, a co-host of the conservative “Ruthless” podcast and an outside adviser to McConnell, wrote in an email.

As a reminder, Paul has gone head-to-head with Fauci several times over what role the latter’s agency played in the COVID pandemic. In the exchange below, Paul questions Fauci on the definition of gain-of-function, the riskiness of that research, and whether or not the agency director has been truthful about NIAID’s research as it relates to the Wuhan lab.

In an interview following a separate hearing months later, Paul told Rising that the question has been answered, maintaining the public health bureaucrat HAS been less than truthful regarding NIAID’s funding.

“I think the key was that all three scientists that we brought in–and these were esteemed scientists that have been interested in this issue for some time–all three of the scientists agree that the research … was gain-of-function research, that this research was a dangerous type of research that should have been reviewed by the pandemic committee that reviews dangerous research, and that it wasn’t,” said Paul. “What Dr. Fauci said, directly in committee, that the [National Institutes of Health] does not fund gain-of-function [research] in Wuhan and never has is an out-and-out lie.”

This may be one of the best 11th-hour, unofficial GOTV efforts the Republicans could have engaged in less than a week before election day.

 

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