645X363 - No Companion - Full Sharing - Additional videos are suggested - Policy/Regulation/Blogs

ASHLAND, Va. — Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLoeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection Rick Scott tests positive for coronavirus Overnight Defense: Formal negotiations inch forward on defense bill with Confederate base name language | Senators look to block B UAE arms sales | Trump administration imposes Iran sanctions over human rights abuses MORE (R-Ky.) took aim Wednesday at the National Institutes of Health for blaming the agency's slow response to the Ebola outbreak on budget cuts.

"We have people who go blithely on TV and say we don't have enough money to study Ebola. Have you seen what the NIH spends money on?" Paul, a prospective 2016 presidential candidate, said at a campaign rally for Republican congressional candidates Dave Brat and Ed Gillespie.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Nine-hundred thirty-nine thousand dollars spent to discover whether or not male fruit flies would like to consort with younger female fruit flies," the senator said to laughter. "One hundred seventeen thousand dollars spent to determine if most monkeys are right handed and like to throw poop with their right hands.”

And the NIH spent $2.4 million for an "Origami condom," said Paul, who said he spared folks in the room an explanation because it was a family audience.

Paul appeared to be referring to a project to "radically" redesign the condom for the 21st century, according to the Origami website, in part to reduce HIV transmission.

The NIH, Paul said, now spends about $30 billion a year, up from $17 billion in 2000.

"When they say they don't have enough money with their big cuts, look at the bottom line," Paul said. "No money has been cut in Washington, but it's about time we do cut money in Washington."