Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Dr. Anthony Fauci engaged in a heated exchange during Tuesday’s hearing on the response to COVID-19 variants. Paul was a strong critic of Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He accused Fauci of conspiring to smear doctors from Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford with positions that were different from his
Paul continued to cite Collins’ email exchange in which Collins was discussing Great Barrington Declaration. This declaration, which opposes large-scale lockdowns to combat the pandemic, favors “focused protection” or herd immunity.
Fauci responded by sending Collins articles from Wired, The Nation, and other publications that had already attacked this position. Paul accused Fauci of supporting Collins’ attempt to discredit the Great Barrington Declaration doctors, even though he had not written those articles.
Fauci initially replied that Collins had sent the email to him. Paul however noted that Fauci later responded with the agreement. Paul was then accused by the director of NIAID of “distorting all about me,” which he claimed is Paul’s “usual mode.”
Paul, who is also a doctor, said that Fauci had “conspired” to spread the message about the pandemic. He pointed out a Nature Medicine 2020 article by several doctors, which he said was against the notion that COVID-19 originated at Wuhan’s lab. This despite them being present on a conference call in which the possibility of a lab leak had been discussed.
This article and Fauci’s communication with the authors were mentioned in a letter that was sent Tuesday morning by Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to Health and Human Services Director Xavier Becerra.
Fauci confessed to having spoken privately with scientists involved in the article. Paul, however, asked Fauci about the substance of that conversation and whether they originally believed that the virus was a laboratory. Fauci then changed the subject by accusing Paul that he wasted his time by going after him.
Fauci spoke about the effects of the attacks on Fauci and his family. He stated that he had received “obscene phone calls” and “threats to my life” all because “people are lying about him.” Then he recalled an incident in which a Sacramento resident was stopped in Iowa by law enforcement and found a rifle along with ammunition.
Fauci stated that he had been asked by police where he was headed. He was heading to Washington, D.C. to kill Dr. Fauci. Fauci took aim at Paul and accused him of encouraging and carrying out attacks against his character for political ends. Fauci showed him a screenshot of Paul’s campaign website, calling for “Fire Doctor Fauci” and links to donate.