Almost half of Americans believe Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, deceived the public about funding “gain-of-function” research in Wuhan, China, and want to see Fauci resign, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll published Wednesday.
49 percent of 1,000 likely voters surveyed believe Dr. Fauci misled the public when he denied that the U.S. government funded gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology as it relates to Covid-19.
Furthermore, only 33 percent of voters believe Dr. Fauci told the truth in a a seven-point drop from June when 40 percent of Americans showed faith in the doctor.
Similarly, nearly half of Americans, 46 percent, now wish to see Fauci resign from his post at the NIAID, including 67 percent of Republicans and 24 percent of Democrats.
Dr. Fauci has faced heavy backlash following his July exchange with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., where he denied claims of government-funded gain-of-function research.
It was later revealed, however, that taxpayer dollars were used for such research in Wuhan, according to the letter written from the National Institutes of Health to Republican House Oversight Committee ranking member James Comer.
“We now know that American taxpayer dollars funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab,” Comer said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Even worse, NIH Director Collins and Dr. Anthony Fauci potentially misled the Committee and the American people about its knowledge of this cover up.”
NIH Director Francis Collins denies any possibility that experiments conducted by EcoHealth Alliance were related to the emergence of Covid-19.
At the forefront of the criticism is Sen. Paul, who said Fauci should “absolutely” be fired for “just for lack of judgment, if nothing else,” according to an interview the senator did with Axios.
“I think that people across the country are very disturbed at how much he’s lied, basically,” Paul said. “We’re still going at it. We have brand new news today, you know, that says that the NIH is now admitting that there was gain of function research there, and he lied about it.”
“And so in the letter, they acknowledge that, yes, the viruses did gain in function, they became more dangerous. So they’ve created a virus that doesn’t exist in nature to become more dangerous,” he continued.
“That is gain of function. Now they try to justify it by saying, well it was an unexpected result. I’m not sure I buy that. Think about it, you take an unknown virus, you combine it with another virus, and you get a super-virus,” the senator added. “You have no idea whether it gains functions or loses function. That’s what the experiment is. But I don’t know how anybody could argue that that’s not gain of function research.”