Rand Paul: Pursuing Accountability on Lab Leak 'Deception'

Reason's Zach Weissmueller talked with the senator about his quest to uncover the origins of COVID-19 and hold Anthony Fauci accountable.


This is the audio version of The Reason Livestream, which takes place every Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern.

"Senator Paul, you do not know what you what you are talking about." Those were the words that Anthony Fauci spoke in July 2021 to Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) following a series of questions from Paul about the possibility that Fauci's agency had funded research in Wuhan, China, that led directly to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paul's new book, Deception: The Great COVID Cover-Up, aims to show that, in fact, he very much did know what he was talking about when it came to U.S. funding of risky gain-of-function research that involves making viruses more infectious and deadly to humans. 

Internal emails later obtained by Congress showed that in February 2020, Fauci was concerned about gain-of-function research in Wuhan, and National Institutes of Health Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak admitted in an October 2021 letter to the House of Representatives that the agency had funded work there that led to a virus becoming more deadly in mice with humanized lungs. 

I spoke with Paul about his book and his investigations into the origins of COVID-19. I  asked him to reflect on his famous exchange with Fauci and what he thinks real accountability would look like. We also talked about his proposals to end all government funding of gain-of-function research and to prohibit government officials from meeting with social media companies for the purpose of censoring legal speech.