Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. immunologist, have clashed before, but they took off the gloves on Tuesday.
In a fiery session before the Senate Health Committee, Fauci claimed Paul’s accusations about COVID-19 and the government’s handling of the pandemic have caused harassment.
“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 threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls, because people are lying about me,” Fauci told the panel.
He also claimed a California man was arrested in Iowa last month was driving to Washington, D.C., with the intention to kill Fauci.
“The police asked him where he was going and he was going to Washington, D.C., to kill Dr. Fauci,” he said. “They found in his car, an AR-15 and multiple magazines of ammunition because he thinks that maybe I’m killing people.”
At one point, Fauci brandished some literature he claimed came from Paul’s office that called for his firing.
Fauci went on to personally attack the senator.
“In usual fashion, senator, you are distorting everything about me,” Fauci said Tuesday. “This happens all the time, you personally attack me, with absolutely not a shred of evidence about anything you say.”
Paul, for his part, said Fauci’s charge was irresponsible.
“It’s disappointing for you to suggest that people who dare to question you are responsible somehow for violent threats,” Paul said.
“Anyone who dares to question Fauci’s smear campaign against other scientists is accused by Fauci of fomenting violence. As someone who actually was the target of semiautomatic gunfire by a Bernie Sanders supporter, I never once accused Senator Sanders of being responsible for the attack and I resent Fauci avoiding the question by ginning up the idea that his opponents are the cause of threats,” Paul told The Daily Wire.
The two have clashed before. Last month, Paul put the lion’s share of blame for the thousands of monthly COVID-19 deaths squarely on Fauci over his bias toward vaccines versus therapeutics.
“I would venture to say that thousands of people die in our country every month now from COVID because [Fauci’s] deemphasized the idea that there are therapeutics,” Paul, who is also a doctor, said in an interview on the Ron Paul Liberty Report published last month, according to Fox News.
“I think Fauci is of the philosophy that vaccines are incredibly successful and are the way to go versus therapeutics, for example. So with regard to AIDS, he was involved as the AIDS epidemic came up, he wanted to develop a vaccine,” said Paul, who has repeatedly clashed with Fauci in hearings on Capitol Hill. “There’s nothing wrong with that. He wanted to develop a vaccine. Vaccines can be great for polio or smallpox or wonderful. It didn’t actually work for AIDS.”
Paul has previously backed the use of monoclonal antibodies in treatment, saying they “are one of the most promising treatments for the virus” once a person has contracted COVID-19.
“Recent data showed that monoclonal antibody treatment cuts the risk of death and hospitalization by 70% in high-risk patients and reduces the chance of infection among a household by 80%,” Paul wrote in a September op-ed. “Monoclonal antibodies have only just begun to be mentioned by the mainstream media, and misinformation still plagues government bureaucrats when discussing this scientifically-backed treatment.”
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to email@example.com.
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