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Rand Paul says Republicans will investigate Fauci if they retake the Senate, escalating a long-running personal feud

Business Insider logo Business Insider 2/4/2022 tporter@businessinsider.com (Tom Porter)
Photos showing Anthony Fauci (l) and Rand Paul at a public hearing. Nash Greg/Pool/ABACA/Reuters, Pool/Reuters © Nash Greg/Pool/ABACA/Reuters, Pool/Reuters Photos showing Anthony Fauci (l) and Rand Paul at a public hearing. Nash Greg/Pool/ABACA/Reuters, Pool/Reuters
  • Sen. Rand Paul said Republicans would subpoena Fauci if they win the Senate in the mid-terms. 
  • Paul and Fauci have engaged in bitter exchanges at Senate hearings.
  • Paul has pushed unsubstantiated claims that funds approved by Fauci may have helped create COVID. 

Sen. Rand Paul said that Republicans will subpoena chief White House medical advisor Dr Anthony Fauci if they take control of the Senate in the mid-term elections. 

The Kentucky Republican is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee. He stands to be nominated as chairman of the panel if Republicans win the Senate in November, securing him the power to launch investigations and issue subpoenas. 

"If we win in November, if I'm chairman of a committee, if I have subpoena power, we'll go after every one of [Fauci's] records," Paul said during an interview with anti-vax podcaster Lisa Boothe.

"We'll have an investigator go through this piece by piece because we don't need this to happen again."

Paul, a physician, and Fauci have clashed in a series of heated exchanges in Senate hearings.

Paul, often trafficking in conspiracy theories and disinformation, has criticised Fauci on measures he has advocated to contain the virus.


Video: 1-on-1 with Dr. Anthony Fauci (ABC News)

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His attacks have focussed on Fauci's tenure as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and often rely on speculation that funding Fauci approved to a lab in Wuhan, China, may have been used to create the coronavirus.

Fauci has denied that the funding was for so-called "gain of function" research, or research into making diseases more contagious. 

The origin of the virus has not been established, with China blocking attempts to investigate the source of the pandemic. Many experts believe that the theory it originated in a lab is spurious and it most likely originated in nature, though others say it is plausible. 

In a particularly embittered exchange in January, Fauci said that Paul's baseless attacks "kindle the crazies" who threaten and harass him and his family. He said Paul was seeking to exploit the pandemic for political gain. 

At hearing last July, Fauci said "you do not know what you're talking about" to Paul, and accused him of "lying", after the senator tried to draw connections between research in China partly funded by NIAID and the coronavirus. 

Paul had at a hearing earlier in the year accused Fauci of indulging in "theater" by wearing a mask after having gotten vaccinated, and Fauci responded that vaccines don't offer protection against all variants. 

Fauci has become a hate figure for some on the right, with many Republicans rallying around opposition to federal government measures to control the virus.

Some Republican supporters have embraced fringe anti-vaccine views and conspiracy theories about the virus.

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