Fauci, Paul trade charges of lying about virus

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

WASHINGTON — A recurring clash between the government’s top infectious disease doctor and a U.S. senator has erupted again on Capitol Hill, with each accusing the other of lying.

Dr. Anthony Fauci angrily confronted Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in testimony before a Senate committee. Fauci rejected Paul’s insinuation that the U.S. helped fund research at a Chinese lab that could have sparked the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fauci spoke to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, saying a study the senator mentioned referenced a different sort of virus entirely from the one responsible for the coronavirus outbreak.

“Senator Paul, you do not know what you’re talking about, quite frankly,” Fauci said. “And I want to say that officially. You do not know what you’re talking about.”

He added, “If anybody is lying here, senator, it is you.”

It was the latest in a series of clashes between Paul and Fauci about the origins of the virus that caused the global pandemic.

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