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MSNBC analyst John Heilemann claimed Thursday that Republicans are only critical of Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, because they believe they have a political advantage if COVID-19 does not ever go away.
Heilemann made the comments during an appearance on “Morning Joe,” saying that he believed Republicans were doing the “political math” and reaching the conclusion that the continued spread of COVID-19 and each new variant helped them because they thought it reflected poorly on Biden.
Host Mika Brzezinski began the segment with a clip of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) claiming that Fauci had been part of the politicization of COVID-19, keeping people scared and pushing them toward vaccines while ignoring therapeutics.
Host Joe Scarborough responded to Johnson’s comments by saying he didn’t understand why anyone would attack Fauci, who he claimed had “committed his entire life” to public health.
“Fauci, certainly, he just became the symbol of the anti-science movement and also just need to have a villain, to have a bad guy of government control, and it was — Speaker Pelosi played that role for a while for the people of the right, then we had last year they tried to make President Biden it, you know there was Kamala Harris and the socialists were ‘controlling him’ and now Dr. Fauci, who of course clashed with Trump at times —” Jonathan Lemire replied.
“Can I suggest something more, something darker?” Heilemann asked.
“I would love it,” Scarborough replied.
Calling the Republican Party a “death cult,” Heilemann argued that top Republicans were seeing the political advantage — especially going into the 2022 midterm elections — of allowing COVID-19 to continue to spread. “They know it hurts Joe Biden,” he said. “Their sense of the politics of this is dark. They think if Covid goes on longer, it puts them in a better position. They are right about that.”
Co-host Willie Geist claimed that prominent figures in right-leaning media were “comparing Fauci to a Nazi,” adding, “That’s been a story for a long time that Fauci is profiting to from the vaccine, all these things that are not true. That then moves into the mainstream of conservative media and becomes gospel, that he’s a villain and that somehow he’s asserting his power by trying to get people vaccinated and protect the American public from this disease that’s killed 700,000 people.”
Heilemann’s conclusion was simple: “It’s because if people follow Fauci, there’s a likelier chance that COVID will go away. And if COVID goes away, it’s bad right now for Republicans. It’s just the math on this, the political math on this, it’s not hard to figure out,” he said.
MSNBC’s Heilemann: Republicans trash Fauci because they don’t want Covid to go away.
“If people follow Fauci, there’s a likelier chance that Covid will go away. And if Covid goes away, it ’s bad for Republicans. The political math on this, it’s not hard to figure out.” pic.twitter.com/1mbWygeXQS
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 2, 2021
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