Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said Friday his family had received five telephoned death threats over his recent confrontations with White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci — and over Paul’s vocal opposition to gain-of-function research
“This week, I’ve had five death threats just for being outspoken on it,” the Republican told Fox News’ “Hannity”. “I don’t know what the world’s coming to, you can’t ask honest, difficult questions that in the end have proved out that Dr. Fauci was not being honest with us, but as a repercussion, my family had white powder sent to our house, and five death threats phoned in.”
Last month, a package containing a threatening letter and white powder was reportedly sent to Paul’s Kentucky home. The envelope included an image of a bruised and bandaged Paul with a gun to his head and the message: “I’ll finish what your neighbor started you motherf—–.” The message was a reference to the 2017 assault of Paul by neighbor Rene Boucher, which left the senator with injuries, including broken ribs.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office in Kentucky did not immediately have any information Friday about whether telephone threats against Paul or his family had been reported. US Capitol Police did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Paul has butted heads with Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, many times on several issues related to the pandemic. Most recently, Paul has accused Fauci of lying about whether grant money funneled from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the Wuhan Institute of Virology went toward making bat coronaviruses more contagious and dangerous to humans.
“There’s been no more prominent scientist in favor of gain-of-function research than Dr. Fauci,” Paul said Friday. “He still hasn’t backed off of that position. He still believes that it’s OK to take animal viruses and make them into super-viruses to infect humans. Even if a pandemic should occur, he says the research is worth it.
“But you know what? There’s a host of other scientists in this field and they say it’s not worth it at all, that we haven’t learned anything” Paul added. “All we’ve done is put ourselves at risk.”
Paul also claimed that as part of gain-of-function research, scientists are experimenting with viruses that are far more deadly than the coronavirus.
“This is a bad one, this has about one percent mortality, 3.5 million people have died, but they’ve been experimenting with some viruses that have 15 percent mortality. That would be 50 million deaths right now,” he said. “So this kind of research needs to not be funded by the US taxpayer … It’s very, very dangerous.”
Earlier this week, Vanity Fair published a report in which former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield claimed he received death threats after backing the theory that coronavirus leaked from the Wuhan lab during a March appearance on CNN.
“I was threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis,” Redfield told the publication. “I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science.”