Admiral Brett Giroir defended Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and accused White House senior medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci of “hiding behind technical definitions.”
Giroir joined Wednesday’s broadcast of “Fox & Friends” to discuss the heated exchange between Paul and Fauci at a Senate hearing a day earlier on the continued spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus. (RELATED: ‘You Do Not Know What You’re Talking About’: Rand Paul Clashes With Dr. Fauci In Tense Capitol Hill Hearing)
Host Brian Kilmeade introduced Giroir after sharing a clip of Tuesday’s hearing, during which Paul accused Fauci of lying about whether or not the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had funded gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Fauci, who previously denied the NIH funded any gain of function research — which manipulates viruses to make them more virulent in an effort to study their behavior and develop prophylactics and therapeutics — responded by accusing Paul of promoting lies about him.
“Admiral, what should we know about that exchange?” Kilmeade asked 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,'” Giroir replied. “But what they did fund was exactly what Rand Paul said.”
Giroir went on to say the NIH had funded the collection and extraction of bat coronaviruses that eventually made it to laboratories in Wuhan.
“Next, they chopped up those viruses and created new Frankenstein viruses to see if they could infect human cells,” Giroir continued. “Now, 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.”
Giroir also noted the possibility that China could be using the outcome of such experiments to bolster a bioweapons program that has been tied by some to that same lab in Wuhan. (RELATED: ‘Not Outrageous’ To Suggest COVID Was Engineered: Former White House Testing Czar Says There’s ‘A Lot Of CYA Going On Now’)
“Legitimate questions. I didn’t think we got a legitimate answer,” he said.
“You worked with Dr. Fauci. Have you ever seen him so rattled or inappropriate in a Senate hearing?” Kilmeade pressed.
“No, I really haven’t. He is usually pretty cool in those hearings,” Giroir replied, adding that his main concern was that Fauci’s posture would not do much to “inspire confidence in the American people.”
“Look, I was in that chair, Senator Murray, Senator Warren, beat us up in the Trump administration,” Giroir explained. “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.”
Following Tuesday’s hearing, Paul announced his plan to send a letter to the Justice Department seeking a criminal referral for Fauci, alleging that he lied to Congress.