Sen Rand Paul launches new salvo at Fauci after COVID czar claimed critics were anti-science
Republican Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz snapped back at Anthony Fauci for comments he made in a TV interview Sunday in response to GOP criticism of the infectious disease expert.
In an interview with CBS News’ Face The Nation, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser also dismissed Republican criticism of his work as “lies” and agreed with the idea that GOP lawmakers were using him as a scapegoat.
“Anyone who makes up lies and threats and all that theater going on with some investigations and the congressional committees and the Rand Paul’s and all this other nonsense, that’s noise…I know my job,” Fauci told host Margaret. Brennan.
Paul responded in a tweet Sunday: ‘The absolute hubris of someone who claims THEY represent science. It’s astonishing and alarming that a public health bureaucrat would even think to make such a claim, especially one who has worked so hard to ignore the science of natural immunity.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz also had some harsh words in response to Fauci’s criticism.
Brennan told Fauci, “Senator Cruz has told the Attorney General that you should be prosecuted.”
Cruz told Attorney General Merrick Garland at a contentious hearing in late October that Fauci should be investigated over allegations that he lied to Congress.
Fauci laughed off the accusation before appearing to claim that Cruz had a part in the events leading up to the deadly Capitol uprising.
‘Yes. I have to laugh about that. Should I be prosecuted? What happened on January 6, Senator?’ replied Fauci.
Senator Rand Paul responded to comments about him made by Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday
Fauci rejected Ted Cruz’s claim that he should be prosecuted over charges of lying to Congress
He sat down for an hour-long interview with CBS News’ Face The Nation, which aired Sunday
Cruz responded in a tweet thread of his own.
The former presidential candidate wrote: “Fauci is an unelected technocrat who has distorted science and facts to exert authoritarian control over millions of Americans. He lives in a liberal world where his smug ‘I REPRESENT science’ attitude is praised.”
He then repeated his criticism of Fauci.
The news anchor asked Fauci if he thought “this is about making you a scapegoat” to deviate from Donald Trump.
“Of course you have to sleep not to understand that,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter, I’m just going to do my job and I’m going to save lives and they’ll lie.”
Cruz is one of several Republican senators who have accused Fauci of lying to Congress about funding for biological research studying the genetic sequence of viruses, known as “gain of function” research.
Republicans have claimed that the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where Fauci works as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, funded the controversial research in Wuhan, where COVID-19 first emerged.
Both NIH and Fauci have rejected the claim.
Ted Cruz is one of many Republicans to accuse Fauci of lying, which the scientist says is an attempt to distract from Donald Trump
Senator Ted Cruz also criticized Fauci’s comments in a Twitter thread
Elsewhere in the hour-long interview, Fauci warned that the US could be on the brink of yet another wave of COVID-19 cases.
In parts of the US, the number of infections has started to rise after a hopeful downturn after last summer’s wave.
Budding cases are compounded by concerns about the new Omicron variant first discovered in South Africa. No cases have been found in the US yet, but the Biden administration has announced travel bans on eight African countries to delay the arrival of the species.
“We definitely have the potential to go into a fifth wave,” Fauci said.
“And the fifth wave, or the magnitude of any increase, if you want to call it that it’s going to be a wave, will really depend on what we do over the next few weeks to a few months.”
He also warned of a possible and even ‘probable’ fifth coronavirus wave if the US does not slow down the rise in daily infections.
He said the US urgently needs to “water down” the rising daily number of cases — which averaged nearly 95,000 last week, after hovering between 70,000 and 80,000 earlier in November.
“If we don’t do it successfully, it’s certainly conceivable and maybe we’ll see another small wave. How bad it gets depends on us and how we reduce it,” Fauci said.
In a separate interview on ABC Sunday, Fauci told host George Stephanopoulos that the Omicron variant will be “inevitably” detected in the United States.
“If and when — and it will be when — it gets here, hopefully we’ll be ready by increasing our capabilities through vaccines, masking — all the things we’re doing and should be doing,” Fauci said.
He admitted that Biden’s travel bans are not a foolproof solution, but added that they would “delay it enough to better prepare us.”