Senator Rand Paul celebrated the announcement that Dr. Anthony Fauci wouldn’t be retiring just yet.
Dr. Paul’s reason? He plans to get Dr. Fauci “under oath” to discuss the origins of COVID.
Earlier in the week, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and chief medical advisor to the President, had to clarify his plans for retirement.
Politico had reported that he would be “leaving by the end of President Joe Biden’s term.”
Fauci squashed any hopes that this meant he’d be retiring at that point in a subsequent discussion with The Hill’s contributing editor Steve Clemons.
“I’m not going to retire. No, no, I’m not going to retire,” the 81-year-old insisted. “I may step down from my current position at some time.”
Rand Paul found a silver lining in the announcement that Dr. Fauci wouldn’t be retiring any time soon, suggesting he has plans to investigate the origins of the COVID pandemic.
“Excellent,” he said in response to the non-retirement pledge, “because I look forward to ascertaining Fauci’s involvement in the cover-up of the lab origins of COVID — Under Oath!”
Of course, the option to get him under oath isn’t predicated on his retirement status, but we appreciate Paul taking the jab (pun intended).
Paul has been a consistent thorn in Fauci’s side, one of a handful of lawmakers willing to continually press Fauci over what they consider inconsistent statements and/or policies.
Paul has been particularly interested with what, if any, role Fauci had in funding gain-of-function research.
Paul has accused Fauci of having lied to Congress about U.S. funding for coronavirus research in Wuhan, China.
“Surprise surprise – Fauci lied again,” he said, sharing an article that showed NIH provided a “bat coronavirus grant” to a group called the EcoHealth Alliance.
“And I was right about his agency funding novel Coronavirus research at Wuhan.”
A 2023 spending bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations seeks to ban the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from funding research laboratories in China.
Science writes that claims the virus was released from a lab in Wuhan are “so far unsupported by evidence.”
Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO), prior to Fauci’s clarification that he is not retiring, vowed to make sure any post-career time would be spent answering for his handling of the COVID pandemic.
“Fauci thinks he’s just going to retire and move on with his life,” she tweeted. “Not on my watch. He belongs in jail.”
Back in January, Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) promised that should the expected red wave come during the midterm elections, House Republicans would definitely launch investigations regarding Fauci.
“If the American people put us back in charge, we are definitely going to do this (investigate Fauci),” he said in an interview.
Fauci has insisted that any questioning of his methods or of him is a criticism of science.
“If they get up and really aim their bullets at Tony Fauci,” he said of his many detractors, “well people can recognize that there’s a person there, so it’s easy to criticize, but they’re really criticizing science because I represent science.”
Senator Rand Paul chastised Fauci over the comments.
“The absolute hubris of someone claiming THEY represent science,” Paul gibed.
“It’s astounding and alarming that a public health bureaucrat would even think to claim such a thing, especially one who has worked so hard to ignore the science of natural immunity,” he added.
Fauci has said that while he may step down from his current role with NIAID at some point, that decision won’t be affected by anticipated attacks by Republican lawmakers.
“They’re going to try and come after me, anyway. I mean, probably less so if I’m not in the job,” he told Politico.
Still, Fauci insisted, “I don’t make that a consideration in my career decision.”
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