Rand Paul: 'We will get to the bottom' of COVID-19's origins if GOP wins majority

On monkeypox, Paul says that "the government looks like they're going to screw this up the same way they did COVID."

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul predicted that a GOP majority in Congress would "get to the bottom" of the origins of COVID-19, something that still hasn't been fully investigated. 

"I think most of the mainstream media has kept off of the airwaves a discussion of gain-of-function research or the origins of the virus, but we will get to the bottom of this," Paul said on a conference call with reporters. "It's going to take control of committees ...

"I've talked to Jim Jordan and others about investigating this. I think there's a great deal of interest in investigating the origins of the virus. I'm very interested in it, but it depends on elections. Elections have consequences. We'll have to see what happens in November."

Republicans and moderate Democrats have called on Democratic congressional leaders to establish a commission to investigate the origins of COVID-19. Such a commission was never formed. Under the Democrat-led Congress, the relevant committees haven't fully investigated the origins of the virus or China's handling of the initial outbreak. Paul himself held the first congressional hearing on gain-of-function research earlier this month.

Paul was asked for his opinion of the Biden administration's handling of monkeypox and whether he thinks it could reach the level of a pandemic. 

"I think the reason it won't spread to the level of COVID is it's not spread through air, it's spread through sexual contact primarily, and among the gay community," he said. "I do think that they've already made some of the same mistakes that they made with COVID.

"During COVID, the test to diagnose COVID, was monopolized by the CDC, and it initially didn't work. Historically, testing for infectious diseases has been done by hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of different labs, including most of the universities in our country." 

It's a "really bad idea" to have the CDC and the FDA monopolize the testing process for a virus such as COVID-19, he added.

"I have a letter signed by, you know, 30 or 40 universities, the Association of Macular Pathologists, all saying that they don't want it to be done this way," he said. "They want the freedom to be able to develop these tests. And interestingly, right now, the CDC is still monopolizing the monkeypox test. Intriguingly, Stanford University has come up with a test that apparently is brilliant and works, and it's a rapid test."

Explaining the need for a rapid test to slow the contagion, Paul said, "The more rapidly you know that it is monkeypox, the more rapidly you get the correct antibiotics, the more rapidly you'll clear this."

Offering an early verdict on the official handling of monkeypox, Paul said "the government looks like they're gonna screw this up the same way they did COVID."