NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci angrily lashed out at Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Tuesday, after the Kentucky Republican called him out for claiming to “unilaterally represent science,” and for plotting to destroy dissenting scientists.
In an impressive display of misdirection, Fauci went after Paul for “distorting” his good works, and for inciting threats against his life.
Paul began his line of questioning by hammering Fauci for claiming arrogantly that he represents Science.
“A planner who believes he is ‘the science’ leads to an arrogance that justifies in his mind using government resources to smear and to destroy the reputations of other scientists who disagree with him,” the senator said.
He continued: “In an email exchange with [former NIH director] Dr. Collins, you conspire and I quote here directly from the email: ‘To create a quick and devastating published takedown’ of three prominent epidemiologists from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford.”
Apparently, there’s a lot of fringe epidemiologists at Harvard, Oxford and Stanford. And you quote in the email that they are from Dr. Collins and you agree that they are fringe. And immediately there’s this takedown effort. A published takedown, though, you know, doesn’t exactly conjure up the image of a dispassionate scientist. Instead of engaging them on their merits, you and Dr. Collins sought to smear them as fringe and take them down. And not in journals, in lay press.
“This is not only antithetical to the scientific method, it’s the epitome of cheap politics and it’s reprehensible, Dr. Fauci. Do you really think it’s appropriate to use your $420,000 salary to attack scientists that disagree with you?” Paul asked.
Fauci responded to the senator’s opening salvo by testily accusing him of “distorting everything” about him.
“The email you’re referring to was an email of Dr. Collins to me. If you look at the email that you responded to and hurried up and said I can do it, I can do it. We got something in wired. Oh, no. I think in usual fashion, Senator, you are distorting everything about me,” Fauci said.
“Did you ever object to Dr. Collins’s characterization of them as friends? Did you write back to Dr. Collins and say, No, they’re not fringe. They’re esteemed scientists and it would be beneath me?” Paul pressed. “You responded to him that you would do it. And you immediately got an article, you wired it, sent it back to him said, Hey, look, I’ve got ’em. I nailed ’em and wired ’em on all sides.”
Fauci denied that that is what happened. “There you go, again. You just do the same thing every hearing,” he said.
But Paul didn’t back down. “That was your response, and this wasn’t the only time. So your desire to tear down people—”
“You are incorrect as usual, Senator,” Fauci interjected. “You are incorrect almost everything you say.”
With Fauci on the ropes, and stammering “no!” in response, Paul continued. “Well, no. You deny. You deny, But the emails tell the truth of this,” he noted, adding:
“This wasn’t the only time. Your desire to take down those who disagree with you didn’t stop with Harvard, Oxford and Stanford. You conspired with Peter Daszak, who you communicated with privately, and other members of the scientific community that wrote opinion pieces for Nature. Five of them signed a paper for Nature, an opinion piece. Seventeen signed a paper that called it conspiracy theory, the idea that the virus could have originated in the lab. Do you think words like conspiracy theory should be in a scientific paper?” Paul asked.
“Senator, I never used that word, when I was referring to it. You’re distorting virtually everything,” Fauci replied defensively.
After they argued back and forth for a few more moments, Fauci tried to shame the senator for “personally attacking” him.
“Senator, we are here at a committee to look at a virus now that has killed almost 900,000 people. And the purpose of the committee was to try and get things out how we can help to get the American public. And you keep coming back to personal attacks on me that have absolutely no relevance to reality,” he snapped.
But Paul didn’t let Fauci’s protests soften his line of questioning. He went on to accuse the Chief White House medical advisor of mismanaging the response to the pandemic, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
“Do you think anybody has had more influence over a response to this than you have?” Paul asked. “Do you think it’s a great success, what’s happened so far?”
Lockdowns for our kids? Do you think we slowed down the death rate? More people have died now under President Biden than they did under President Trump. You are the one responsible. You are the architect, you are the lead architect for the response from the government. And now 800,000 people have died.
“Do you think it’s a winning success, what you’ve advocated for government?” Paul asked.
Caught off balance, Fauci stammered angrily in reply,” Senator, first of all, if you look at everything that I said, you accuse me of in a monolithic way, telling people what they need to do. Everything that I’ve said has been in support of the CDC guidelines; wear a mask, get boosted.”
Paul pointed out that Fauci advocated for these guidelines be imposed by mandate, saying “you’ve advocated that your infallible opinion be dictated by law.”
Fauci asked the committee chair if he could have “just a couple of minutes” to respond,” complaining that “this happens all the time,” and that Paul “personally attacks” him “with absolutely not a shred of evidence of anything.”
Of course, there are now mountains of documented evidence backing up Paul’s assertions. In fact, Paul said last month in an interview that Fauci should go to prison for five years for lying to Congress.
Fauci came to the hearing Tuesday with his own plan of attack, and the committee chair gave him time to go after Paul.
“He’s doing this for political reasons,” Fauci blustered.
“You think your takedown of three prominent epidemiologists was not political?” Paul shot back.
“So the last time we had a committee of the time before, he was accusing me of being responsible for the death of five, four to 5 million people, which is really irresponsible. And I say why is he doing that? There are two reasons why that’s really bad. The first is it distracts from what we’re all trying to do here today, is get our arms around the epidemic and the pandemic that we’re dealing with, not something imaginary,” Fauci fulminated.
Backed into a corner, the NIAID director decided to play the victim, blaming Paul’s rhetoric for “kindling the crazies out there,” and citing an incident last month in which a mentally ill individual from California was caught in Iowa with a “hit list” with Fauci’s, and other Democrat leaders’ names on it.
What happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue, is that all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there, and I have life threats upon my life, harassment of my family, and my children with obscene phone calls, because people are lying about me.
Now, you know, I guess you could say, well, that’s the way it goes, I can take the hit. Well, it makes a difference. Because as some of you may know, just about three or four weeks ago, when December 21, a person was arrested, who was on their way from Sacramento to Washington, DC, at a speed stop in Iowa. And they asked the police to ask him where he was going. And he was going to Washington, DC to kill Dr. Fauci.
And they found in his car an AR 15 and multiple magazines of ammunition, because he thinks that maybe I’m killing people.
Fauci went on to accuse Paul of fundraising off his campaign to “Fire Dr. Fauci.”
So I asked myself, Why would Senator want to do this? So go to Rand Paul website, and you see Fire Dr. Fauci with a little box that says, contribute here you can do $5 $10 $20 $100. So you are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political gain.
Paul got the last word in, interrupting Fauci’s rant to say: “you have politically attacked your colleagues and in a politically reprehensible way, you won’t defend it. You won’t argue it.”
Although Paul made a series of great points that further chipped away at Fauci’s already damaged reputation, the corporate media amplified Fauci’s manufactured narrative that the Kentucky senator’s “distortions” “kindle the crazies.”
Joe Biden has repeatedly defended the scandal-plagued and increasingly unpopular Fauci, and has not shown any interest in forcing him to step down.