Cawthorn’s speech summarized a few. The right, echoing Trump, has long shifted blame for the scale of the pandemic in the United States away from Trump by suggesting that it was China that was really to blame. At first, this was framed as a function of China’s failure to contain it. Quickly, though, it became an allegation that the virus leaked from a lab in the country — and that became intertwined with allegations that funding from the government agency Fauci runs was perhaps used to create the virus that then leaked. (Our fact-checkers have been over these claims.) In recent weeks, the idea that Fauci also funded research that involved abusing puppies has gained traction on the right, a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of medical research that’s being used not in opposition to animal testing but, instead, as an ad hominem attack on the doctor.