•  Steve Hilton has accused Dr Anthony Fauci of ‘lying’ about his role in gain of function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology
  • In 2012, Dr Fauci said gain of function research is ‘integral’ to basic research 
  • Gain of function research is a controversial field that involves collecting dangerous viruses and genetically modifying them to be more deadly

By RACHAEL BUNYAN FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 20:11 AEST, 7 June 2021 | UPDATED: 02:04 AEST, 8 June 2021

Next Revolution host Steve Hilton has slammed Dr Anthony Fauci for ‘lying’ about his role in gain of function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a newly resurfaced video shows him advocating the experiments. 

The Fox News host claimed Dr Fauci has lied about his knowledge of the origins of Covid-19 and the alleged U.S. funding of gain of function research at the Wuhan lab. 

Hilton also claimed that the video of Dr Fauci will ‘put to rest any question’ that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) commissioned gain of function research on bat coronaviruses in Wuhan.

In the resurfaced video from 2012 at a gain of function conference, Dr Fauci, the head of the NIAID, said research was ‘integral’ to understanding the genes of viruses.

Gain of function research is a controversial field that involves collecting dangerous viruses and genetically modifying them to be more deadly, in order to study the risks of future outbreaks. 

Next Revolution host Steve Hilton (left) has slammed Dr Anthony Fauci for ‘lying’ about his role in gain of function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a newly resurfaced video shows him advocating the experiments in 2012 (right)

In the resurfaced video from 2012 at a gain of function conference, Dr Fauci, the head of the NIAID, said gain of function research has been 'integral' to basic research

What is gain of function research? 

Gain of function research is a controversial field that involves collecting dangerous viruses and genetically modifying them to be more deadly, in order to study the risks of future outbreaks. 

Richard H. Ebright, a professor at Rutgers, has compared the field of gain-of-function research to ‘looking for a gas leak with a lighted match.’ 

Gain of function research is used to understand how a pathogen adapts to environmental pressures. The aim is for scientists to be able to better plan disease control measures. 

But opponents – including Barack Obama, who ruled out funding for the research when he was president – say that it creates dangerous pathogens, which could accidentally or otherwise be unleashed on the world.ADVERTISEMENT

‘If you look at basic research as we’ve approached it, integral to that study has always been the issue of gain of function research,’ said Dr Fauci. 

‘There are a few ways to look at gain of function research,’ he continued. ‘There are the naturally occurring mutations that naturally give gain of function and investigators study these effects on the phenotypes of interest. 

‘Does this mutation make something more transmissible, more pathogenic or adapt to hosts better? 

‘Or, what historically investigators have done is to actually create gain-of-function by making mutations, passage/adaptation or other newer genetic techniques such as reverse genetics and genetic re-assortment.’   

Dr Fauci has previously told Congress that the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and the NIAID has ‘categorically’ not funded gain of function research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

But Hilton slammed Fauci after the resurfaced video emerged, arguing that the technique of reverse genetics used in gain of function research has been used in a number of projects which were partly funded by NIAID. 

Hilton said in 2014, the NIAID initiated a research project titled: ‘Understanding the risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence’. He claimed that over $3million was sent to Eco Health Alliance and over $500,000 was sent to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

The host claimed the requested work involved in the project involved gain of function research, according to scientific sources. 

He claimed that the research was carried by the Wuhan Institute of Virology as part of the project and Dr Fauci’s NIAID funneled money to them through Eco Health Alliance. 

Dr Fauci has previously told Congress that the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and the NIAID has 'categorically' not funded gain of function research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology+12

Dr Fauci has previously told Congress that the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and the NIAID has ‘categorically’ not funded gain of function research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of VirologyBut Hilton slammed Fauci after the resurfaced video emerged, arguing that the technique of reverse genetics used in gain of function research has been used in a number of projects which were partly funded by NIAID+12

But Hilton slammed Fauci after the resurfaced video emerged, arguing that the technique of reverse genetics used in gain of function research has been used in a number of projects which were partly funded by NIAID

Describing the research project as the ‘Fauci project’, Hilton said: ‘They analyse bat coronaviruses and sequence their genetic information. 

‘They then build various chimeras, genetically engineered new viruses they made in the lab, they infected human cells with them in the lab. 

‘They then showed that their man-made viruses could replicate as a functional virus.’  

Referring to Dr Fauci ‘categorically’ denying the US funding of gain of function research at the Wuhan lab, Hilton said: ‘There is now no question that Fauci lied to Congress. That is a crime.’ 

He added: ‘When you see [Fauci] flat out lying you have to ask why. The only explanation that makes sense is that he is worried.

‘He knows that the pandemic and the virus did most likely escape from the Wuhan lab. And he knows that it was the project he commissioned that put it there in the first place.’ 

‘All of that would be bad enough for Fauci, but he knows there’s something worse. 

‘He knows that he commissioned these experiments despite a ban imposed by the Obama administration and despite new rules imposed by the Trump administration when the ban was lifted. 

‘That is professional misconduct of the highest order and must be immediately investigated by Congress.’

The damning claims come after Republican Sen. Rand Paul demanded Dr. Fauci be fired and claimed that he lied to him about gain-of-function research conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.Rand Paul appeared on The Ingraham Angle where he claimed revealed emails proved Fauci may have been in-part responsible for the development of COVID-19+12

Rand Paul appeared on The Ingraham Angle where he claimed revealed emails proved Fauci may have been in-part responsible for the development of COVID-19

Paul appeared on Fox News‘ The Ingraham Angle where he claimed that thousands of emails revealed by Buzzfeed News and the Washington Post proved Fauci may have been in-part responsible for the development of COVID-19.

At a Senate hearing last month, Paul accused the National Institutes of Health of funding Chinese research into bat coronaviruses that infect humans.

But Fauci told Paul: ‘You are entirely and completely incorrect. The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute.’

On Wednesday, the junior senator from Kentucky said that Fauci bears ‘moral culpability’ while asserting that COVID-19 was created by the Wuhan Institute of Virology through funding from the NIH, a theory which has not been proven.

Fauci appeared in an interview with NewsNation Now anchor Leland Vittert on The Donlon Report in which he defended a grant the United States had provided the Wuhan lab.The junior senator from Kentucky said Fauci bears 'moral culpability' for the pandemic and should be fired from his government roles+12

The junior senator from Kentucky said Fauci bears ‘moral culpability’ for the pandemic and should be fired from his government roles

Paul asserted COVID-19 was created by the Wuhan Institute of Virology through National Institute of Health funding, a theory which has not been proven. Paul said: ‘In his email, in the subject line, he says ‘gain of function research.’ He was admitting it to his private underlings seven to eight months ago’

Paul accuses Dr Fauci of funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology

Scientists have primarily focused their beliefs about COVID-19 on the theory that it spread naturally from a bat to an intermediary animal before infecting humans. 

Claims that the virus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology have been laughed off as conspiracy theories – but even researchers at a number of top universities like Harvard and Cambridge have suggested in a letter that the ‘hypotheses’ cannot be ruled out until there is more evidence.

Dr Fauci has denied that the NIH directly funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan.

However, Paul asserted to Fox News host Laura Ingraham that the recently reveals emails show Fauci admitted to funding gain-of-function research.

‘I think we’ve had a sea change of opinion. Everybody left-of-center was saying this was a conspiracy, no way it could have happened in the Wuhan lab. Now even Dr. Fauci is saying we should investigate it,’ Paul said.

‘But the emails paint a disturbing picture, a disturbing picture of Dr. Fauci from the very beginning worrying that he had been funding gain of function research. And he knows it to this day but hasn’t admitted it.’

Paul claimed in the interview that ‘there is a lot of evidence’ that Fauci’s views on the Wuhan lab-leak theory were compromised by a ‘conflict of interest.’

‘If it turns out this virus came from the Wuhan lab, which it looks like it did, that there’s a great deal of culpability in that he was a big supporter of the funding,’ Paul said. 

‘But he was also a big supporter to this day of saying that we can trust the Chinese on this, that we can trust Chinese scientists and I think that’s quite naïve and really should preclude him form the position that he’s in.’Dr. Anthony Fauci dismissed recent revelations that he was warned by scientist at start of pandemic that COVID-19 may have been 'engineered'+12

Dr. Anthony Fauci dismissed recent revelations that he was warned by scientist at start of pandemic that COVID-19 may have been ‘engineered’Fauci admits $600,000 of public money went to Wuhan

The NIH awarded a $3.7 million grant to EcoHealth Alliance, which is based in the United States, to study the risk of coronaviruses emerging from bats in 2014. EcoHealth Alliance in turn distributed nearly $600,000 of that funding to its collaborator, the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Paul claimed during the Fox News interview that Fauci’s emails show he was worried the NIH funded gain-of-function research as early as last February during the emergence of the pandemic.

‘In his email, in the subject line, he says ‘gain of function research.’ He was admitting it to his private underlings seven to eight months ago,’ Paul said.

In a February 1, 2020 email obtained by Buzzfeed News, Principal NIAID Director Hugh Auschincloss wrote to Fauci to discuss a paper the top infectious disease expert had sent him appearing to question if NIH grants funded gain of function research relating to coronaviruses. 

In the email to Fauci, Auschincloss noted that a colleague would ‘try to determine if we have any distant ties to this work abroad.’

When Ingraham asked Paul if Fauci could face criminal culpability, he replied: ‘At the very least, there is moral culpability.’ The Wuhan Institute of Virology is about 20 miles from the Huanan Seafood Market where the first coronavirus cases are reported to have occurred+12

The Wuhan Institute of Virology is about 20 miles from the Huanan Seafood Market where the first coronavirus cases are reported to have occurredResearchers at a number of top universities have recently penned a letter claiming that theories that COVID-19 escaped from a Wuhan lab 'remain viable'+12

Researchers at a number of top universities have recently penned a letter claiming that theories that COVID-19 escaped from a Wuhan lab ‘remain viable’Fauci, who is considered America's top expert on infectious disease, also explained why scientists focused their theories on the natural transmission from bats rather than an accidental leak from the Wuhan lab+12

Fauci, who is considered America’s top expert on infectious disease, also explained why scientists focused their theories on the natural transmission from bats rather than an accidental leak from the Wuhan labFauci made his comments in an interview with NewsNation Now anchor Leland Vittert on The Donlon Report where he also admitted he 'can't guarantee everything that is going on in the Wuhan lab'+12

Fauci made his comments in an interview with NewsNation Now anchor Leland Vittert on The Donlon Report where he also admitted he ‘can’t guarantee everything that is going on in the Wuhan lab’

Paul’s interview on Wednesday came as Fauci dismissed recent revelations that he was warned at the start of pandemic that COVID-19 may have been ‘engineered’ and said that the emails are ‘really ripe to be taken out of context.’

Fauci also admitted on The Donlon Report that he ‘can’t guarantee everything that is going on in the Wuhan lab.’

Considered America’s top expert on infectious disease, Fauci also explained why scientists focused their theories on the natural transmission from bats to humans through an intermediary species.

The interview comes after a trove of 3,200 of Fauci’s emails from January to June 2020 were obtained and published by Buzzfeed on Tuesday that showed leading virus experts warned him COVID-19 may have been created in a lab while he publicly played such claims down.

‘The only trouble is they are really ripe to be taken out of context where someone can snip out a sentence in an email without showing the other emails, and say ‘based on an email from Dr. Fauci, he said such and such’ where you don’t really have the full context,’ Fauci said in the interview.

Another trove of emails, published by the Washington Post, also revealed his cozy relationship with China’s top infectious disease expert Dr. George Gao – the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention – during the early days of the pandemic in March and April of last year.

‘Let’s put things in context … We’re not talking about the Chinese Communist Party. We’re not talking about the Chinese military. We’re talking about scientists that we’ve had relationships for years,’ Fauci said.

Fauci then defended his relationship with Gao, a colleague of Fauci’s ‘for many years’ and a member of the United States National Academy of Scientists.

‘The scientists there, and others that we dealt with the original SARS, with the influenza virtually every year, the scientists are experienced,’ Fauci said. 

Fauci added that the Wuhan lab ‘is a very large lab to the tune of hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars.’

‘The grant that we’re talking about was $600,000 over five years for an average of about $125,000 to $140,000 a year,’ Fauci said.

He added: ‘I can’t guarantee everything that is going on in the Wuhan lab, I can’t do that. But it is our obligation as scientists and public health individuals to study the animal-human interface’ in the aftermath of the original SARS virus in 2002.

Fauci explained that SARS-CoV-1 ‘was clearly a jumping of species from a bat, to a civic cat, to a human.’

‘So it was incumbent upon us to study the animal-human interface and to understand what potential these viruses have of infecting humans which then might damage the United States,’ Fauci said.

‘So you don’t want to go to Hoboken, New Jersey or to Fairfax, Virginia to be studying the bat human interface that might lead to an outbreak. You go to China.’