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Jen Psaki and Peter Doocy Go Head-to-Head Over COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory

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Watch Jen Psaki and Fox News' Peter Doocy go head-to-head yet again, this time over the GOP's claim that COVID-19 started in a lab. For more COVID-19 updates and us politics, subscribe to NowThis News. #JenPsaki #Doocy #COVID19 #Politics #News #NowThis This video "Jen Psaki and Peter Doocy Go Head-to-Head Over COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory", first appeared on https://nowthisnews.com/.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

ANTHONY FAUCI: Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect.

RAND PAUL: We don't know whether the pandemic started in a lab in Wuhan or evolved naturally, but we should want to know. To arrive at the truth, the US government should admit that the Human Virology Institute was experimenting to enhance the coronavirus' ability to infect humans. For years, Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist in the US, has been collaborating with Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Virology Institute sharing his discoveries about how to create superviruses. This gain of function research has been funded by the NIH. Dr. Fauci, do you still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?

ANTHONY FAUCI: Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

RAND PAUL: Do they fund Dr. Baric?

ANTHONY FAUCI: We do not fund gain--

RAND PAUL: Do you fund Dr. Baric's gain-of-function research?

ANTHONY FAUCI: Dr. Baric is not doing gain-of-function research. And if it is, it's according to the guidelines, and it is being conducted in North Carolina.

RAND PAUL: You don't think inserting a bat virus spike protein that he got from the Wuhan Institute into the SARS virus is a gain of function.

ANTHONY FAUCI: That is not--

RAND PAUL: You would be in a minority because at least 200 scientists have signed a statement from the Cambridge Working Group saying that it is gain of function.

ANTHONY FAUCI: Well, it is not. And if you look at the grant and you look at the progress reports, it is not gain of function despite the fact that people tweet that and write about it--

RAND PAUL: So do you still support sending money to the Wuhan Virology Institute?

ANTHONY FAUCI: We do not send money now to the Wuhan Virology Institute.

RAND PAUL: Did you support sending money? We did under your tutelage. We were sending it through EcoHealth. It was a subagency and a subgrant. Do you support the money from NIH that was going to the Wuhan Institute?

ANTHONY FAUCI: Let me explain to you why that was done. The SARS-CoV-1 originated in bats in China. It would have been irresponsible of us if we did not investigate the bat viruses and the serology to see who might have been infected.

RAND PAUL: Or perhaps, it would be irresponsible to send it to the Chinese government that we may not be able to trust with this knowledge and with this incredibly dangerous viruses. Government scientists, like yourself, who favor gain-of-function research--

ANTHONY FAUCI: I don't favor gain-of-function research in China. You are saying things that are not correct.

RAND PAUL: Will you, in front of this group, categorically say that the COVID-19 could not have occurred to serial passage in a laboratory?

ANTHONY FAUCI: I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done, and I'm fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China. However, I will repeat again. The NIH and NIAID categorically has not funded gain-of-function research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

RAND PAUL: But you do support it in the US. We have 11 labs doing it, and you have allowed it here. We have a committee to do it, but the committee has granted every exemption.

You're fooling with Mother Nature here. You're allowing superviruses to be created with a 15% mortality. It's very dangerous. I think it was a huge mistake to share this with China, and it's a huge mistake to allow this to continue in the United States, and we should be very careful to investigate where this virus came from.

ANTHONY FAUCI: I fully agree that you should investigate where the virus came from. But again, we have not funded gain-of-function research on this virus in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. No matter how many times you say it, it didn't happen.

RAND PAUL: There was research--

TINA SMITH: Dr. Fauci, what is the impact of conspiracy theories peddled by Senator Rand Paul and others on Americans willingness to take this vaccine, a vaccine that by all accounts is remarkable for its safety and efficacy?

ANTHONY FAUCI: They are not helpful in what we're trying to do, I guess I can say that with some degree of confidence.