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Fauci Denies Cover-up but Admits Vaccine Not as Effective as First Thought

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Dr. Anthony Fauci was in the hot seat Monday on Capitol Hill. The former White House chief medical advisor faced questions from House Republicans about the origins of COVID and the U.S. response to the pandemic. 
Fauci's testimony before a House subcommittee marked his first public appearance on Capitol Hill since retiring in December 2022. He admitted the COVID "lab leak" theory isn't a conspiracy and said he kept an open mind about how it occurred.

During the hearing, House Democrats praised Fauci, saying he saved countless lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I lost both of my parents during the pandemic, so I take this very personally," said California Democrat Rep. Robert Garcia. "It's important to note that my opinion is that you are an American hero, and your team has done more to save lives than all 435 members of this body on both sides of the aisle." 

As to the theory that the virus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Fauci testified that can't be ruled out.  He called allegations of his involvement in trying to cover up its origins false. 

"The accusation being circulated that I influenced the scientists to change their minds by bribing them with millions of dollars in grant money is absolutely false, and simply preposterous. I had no input into the content on a paper published in March 2020 that discussed the possible origins of the virus," Fauci said.

Fauci did admit the vaccine was not as effective as they first thought.

"The vaccine saved millions of lives and I want to thank you for your support and engagement on that," Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) told Dr. Fauci. "However, despite statements to the contrary, it did not stop transmission of the virus. Did the COVID vaccine stop transmission of the virus?"

"That is a complicated issue because in the beginning, the first iteration of the vaccines did have an effect, not a hundred percent but they did prevent infection and subsequently obviously transmission. However, it's important to point out something that we did not know early on that became evident as the months went by is that the durability of protection against infection and hence transmission was relatively limited," Fauci said.

"Yeah, definitely had positive effect for many people, especially those that were vulnerable. But we knew from the trials that people that got vaccinated still were subject to getting COVID. So, was the COVID vaccine 100% effective?" Wenstrup asked.

"I don't believe any vaccine is a hundred percent effective," Fauci said.

Fauci also said more work needs to be done to prepare the U.S. for the next pandemic, including better communication between federal and local officials. 

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Wendy Griffith

Wendy Griffith is a Co-host for The 700 Club and an Anchor and Senior Reporter for the Christian Broadcasting Network based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In addition to The 700 Club, Wendy co-anchors Christian World News, a weekly show that focuses on the triumphs and challenges of the global church. ( Wendy started her career at CBN on Capitol Hill, where she was the network’s Congressional Correspondent during the Impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. She then moved to the Virginia Beach headquarters in 2000 to concentrate on stories with a more