Sen. Rand Paul came after Dr. Anthony Fauci during a hearing, but Dr. Fauci fired back by accusing the Republican of using the pandemic for ‘political gain’ while ‘lying about me’ and putting his family at risk.
Dr. Anthony Fauci seemingly had enough of Senator Rand Paul on Tuesday (Jan. 11). “What happens when he [Paul] gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue?” Dr. Fauci, 81, asked while testifying at a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions hearing. Paul, 59, had accused the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of “destroy[ing] the reputations of other scientists who disagree with him,” referring to three conservative academics who opposed lockdown measures in 2020, per the Washington Post. The emails that the Kentucky senator used as proof showed Fauci sending colleagues a link to a Wired article debunking claims about “herd immunity,” and Fauci fired back at Paul. “That’s not what went on. There you go again. You do the same thing every hearing.”
“So the last time we had a committee or the time before, he was accusing me of being responsible for the death of 4 to 5 million people, which is irresponsible,” Dr. Fauci said, per The Daily Beast. Why is he doing that? … The first is, it distracts from what we’re all trying to do here today, [which] is get our arms around the epidemic and pandemic we’re dealing with, not something imaginary. Number two, what happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue? [It]s that all of a sudden, that kindles the crazies out there and I have threats upon my life, harassment of my family, and my children, with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me.”
Dr. Fauci hinted at Kuachua Brillion Xiong, 25, a California man arrested during a traffic stop in Iowa in December. Xiong had an AR-15 and multiple magazines of ammunition in his car. He had a “hit list” that included former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, and potentially President Joe Biden. Dr. Fauci’s name wasn’t included in the federal complaint against Xiong, and his attorney indicated in court that the man intends to plead insanity.
That wasn’t the only accusation Dr. Fauci lobbed at his rival. He brought up how Sen. Paul’s reelection website has a “Fire Dr. Fauci” section and includes “a little box that says contribute here. You can do five dollars. Ten dollars. Twenty dollars, a hundred dollars,” Fauci said. “So you are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political gain.” Rand Paul dismissed the criticism by saying it was “disappointing” for Dr. Fauci to “suggest that people who dare to question you are responsible somehow for violent threats.”
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