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Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy said Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, should realize the investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic "isn't about his feelings" and insisted the doctor "ought to buy an emotional support pony."
On June 1, more than 3,200 pages of Fauci's emails were released via a Freedom of Information Act request by BuzzFeed, sparking renewed conversations regarding the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic. After facing sharp backlash from conservative figures, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Wednesday that attacks on him were "attacks on science."
"A lot of what you're seeing as attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science," he said on a segment of Meet the Press Daily. "If you are trying to get at me as a public health official and a scientist, you're really attacking, not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you're attacking science. And anybody that looks at what's going on clearly sees that."
Kennedy railed against Fauci's comments the same day and said his feelings were irrelevant to the questions faced by top U.S. authorities regarding the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“Every time I’m asked about Dr. Fauci, I say the same thing," the Republican told Fox News's Sean Hannity. "I know Dr. Fauci, I like Dr. Fauci, I respect Dr. Fauci, but Dr. Fauci needs to cut the crap. This isn’t about Dr. Fauci, it’s not about his feelings, and I’m sorry if his feelings were hurt. You know, maybe he ought to buy an emotional support pony.”
In one April 2020 email exchange, Peter Daszak, the president of the EcoHealth Alliance, a research group that secured a grant to perform coronavirus research in Wuhan before the pandemic, wrote to Fauci “to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators” after Fauci dismissed the idea that the pandemic started due to a lab accident in Wuhan.
Fauci replied to the email, which came on April 18, 2020, to thank Daszak for his “kind note.” Earlier in the day, Fauci was asked directly about the lab leak hypothesis during a coronavirus briefing. At the time, he said the scientific evidence “is totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human.”
The lab leak theory, which was initially dismissed earlier in the pandemic, has received renewed credibility following a report from the Wall Street Journal on May 23 that stated three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019, one month before the start of the pandemic. Questions have been raised about whether U.S. funding contributed to gain-of-function research, a scientific process that makes viruses more potent and infectious.
“We’re not debating dance moves on TikTok here, we’re talking about millions of human lives, and here’s what we know: Dr. Fauci gave a lot of U.S. taxpayer money to the Wuhan lab for Chinese scientists to research bat coronaviruses," Kennedy said. "Neither Dr. Fauci nor any of his people can guarantee us that the Chinese scientists didn’t use that money to do gain-of-function research."
The Louisiana Republican added that “the American people are gonna end up trusting Dr. Pepper more than Dr. Fauci" if he doesn't address queries about the Wuhan lab. He also took the time to question the Chinese government's assurances that the virus was transmitted naturally from a bat to a human.
"Where's the smoking bat?" he asked as he mocked China's leaders for providing little evidence of their claims.
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Original Author: Jake Dima