Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., U.S., July 20, 2021.

Stefani Reynolds | Reuters

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul traded barbs in a heated exchange at a Senate hearing Tuesday over whether the National Institutes of Health funded controversial research Paul claims could have contributed to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paul asked Fauci about an NIH funded study that he says qualifies as gain-of-function research, the process of altering a pathogen to make it more transmissible in order to better predict emerging diseases. Fauci previously denied that the NIH has ever funded the research at a lab in Wuhan, China that has come under intense scrutiny as a possible source of the virus.

“I have not lied before Congress. I have never lied. Certainly not before Congress. Case closed,” Fauci said in fiery testimony before the Senate Committee on health, pensions and labor.

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