The Kentucky Republican maintains that Fauci, who is President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, lied to Congress regarding the National Institutes of Health funding gain-of-function research at a lab in Wuhan, China, the place where COVID-19 cases were first reported in 2019.
Fox News host Sean Hannity announced that Paul began his latest exchange with Fauci through a hearing on Tuesday by stressing that under federal law, lying to Congress is a crime that is punishable with up to five years in jail.
Asked if he still thought Fauci lied and broke the law, Paul answered in the affirmative.
"I will be sending a letter to the Department of Justice asking for a criminal referral, because he has lied to Congress," Paul continued.
"We have scientists that will line up by the dozens to say that the research he was funding was gain-of-function. He’s doing this because he has a self-interest to cover his tracks and to cover his connection to Wuhan lab. Now, does he deserve all the blame? No, there’s still some conjecture as to whether or not it came from the lab. But he’s lying about whether or not he funded gain-of-function research, and yes, he should be punished," the senator said.
Amid a tense exchange with Paul on Tuesday, Fauci denied he lied to Congress throughout a testimony in May when he denied the NIH funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab.
"Sen. Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about," he stated.
“If the point that you are making is that the grant that was funded as a subaward ... created SARS-COV-2, that’s where you are getting,” Fauci said, pointing two fingers at Paul before the senator cut him off again.
“We don't know ... but all the evidence is pointing that it came from the lab and there will be responsibility for those that funded the lab, including yourself,” Paul said.
Gain-of-function research is defined by the Health and Human Services Department as research “that improves the ability of a pathogen to cause disease" and warns that these studies “may entail biosafety and biosecurity risks.”
NIH contended earlier this year that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Fauci leads, "determined the research in the grant" to EcoHealth Alliance, which then gave funding to the Wuhan lab, "was not gain-of-function research."