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Anthony FauciFace the Nation / YouTube

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged in 2012 that controversial “gain-of-function” research carried the “remote” possibility of triggering a pandemic, but argued the benefits would “outweigh the risks,” according to remarks newly unearthed as worldwide COVID-19 deaths near 3.6 million.

Last month, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) confronted Fauci during a Senate hearing over the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) role in funding gain-of-function (GOF) research — which involves intentionally strengthening viruses to better study their potential effects — at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Such research could have given birth to COVID-19. 

Fauci insisted that his department, the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID), “never” funded any such research. Paul then referred to the NIAID’s grant to the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance “to study bat-based coronaviruses in China,” including “gain-of-function” research, which in turn funded the Wuhan research. Fauci then claimed the grant recipient assured them at the time that GOF work would not be done with the money.

Now, Weekend Australia reports that Fauci actually argued in an October 2012 piece for the American Society for Microbiology that GOF research was worth it, despite knowing the risks.

“In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic?” he wrote. “Many ask reasonable questions: given the possibility of such a scenario — however remote — should the initial experiments have been performed and/or published in the first place, and what were the processes involved in this decision?”

“Scientists working in this field might say — as indeed I have said — that the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks,” Fauci declared at the time.

Late last month, Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee released a report finding “significant circumstantial evidence” that COVID-19 spread from a leak at the Wuhan lab, including “clear signs” that the U.S. government “may have funded or collaborated in Gain of Function research” at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. “The U.S. Government must also provide a full accounting of any American cooperation with the Wuhan lab’s coronavirus research, including the support of these projects through U.S. Government funds,” the report declared.

These revelations come after Democrats and the mainstream media spent much of the last year assailing as a “conspiracy theory” the notion that COVID-19 could have leaked out of a lab. Only in recent weeks have they begun acknowledging the theory’s legitimacy.

Fauci’s potential role in funding the research that may have given rise to COVID-19 is only the latest black eye for the divisive public-health official.

In February 2020 he said there was “absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask” in the United States; by July, he was suggesting that Americans wear not only masks, but goggles and face shields. To this day he continues to tout the importance of masking, despite multiple studies indicating their ineffectiveness.

Critics have also faulted Fauci for floating the idea of requiring Americans to carry “certificates” documenting their immunity to COVID-19 and suggesting that handshaking should be abolished but sex with strangers remains alright if “you’re willing to take a risk.”