Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Thursday slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci for failing to provide a timeline for life to resume as normal. Dr. Fauci has said Americans need to continue with COVID precautions, including mask-wearing, social distancing, and large gatherings.
“Dr. Fauci, when is the time? When do Americans get their freedom back?” Jordan asked during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing.
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) head, those precautions need to remain in place until “the level of infection” throughout the country improves. Jordan asked for a tangible number.
“We had ’15 days to slow the spread’ turned into one year of lost liberty,” Jordan fired back. “What metrics, what measures, what has to happen before Americans get more freedoms?”
The goal, according to Dr. Fauci, is to “get as many people vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can.” That would help lower the number of COVID cases in the U.S. so it’s not a “threat,” he explained.
“What determines when? What measure?” Jordan asked. “Are we just going to continue this forever? When, when do we get to the point, what measure, what standard, objective outcome, do we have to reach before Americans get their liberties and freedoms back?”
“You’re looking at it as liberty and freedom. I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to the hospital,” Fauci said.
“You don’t think Americans’ liberties have been threatened over the last year, Dr. Fauci? They’ve been assaulted!” Jordan shot back. “Their liberties have.”
Dr. Fauci reiterated his stance that he views what’s taking place as a “public health measure,” not as a “liberties issue.”
“You think the Constitution is suspended during a virus, during a pandemic?” the congressman asked. “It’s certainly not.”
Dr. Fauci said the level of infection across the country is so high that there’s a probability of another “surge” taking place.
Congressman Jordan reminded Dr. Fauci that American’s First Amendment rights, including the right to attend church and freedom of the press have been “assaulted” over the last year. He highlighted the varying COVID restrictions in states, ranging from curfews in Ohio to a ban on gatherings in Vermont.
Jordan also pointed to pictures on the wall behind him of overcrowded Border Patrol facilities. “These very picture that Rep. Scalise just showed you and talked about, guess what? The press isn’t allowed in those facilities. The Biden administration won’t let the press in there [because of COVID] …,” he said
Dr. Fauci took issue with the points Jordan made.
“You’re making this a personal thing and it isn’t,” Fauci said. “… My recommendations are not a personal recommendation. It’s based on the CDC guidance, which is –”
Jordan fired back, saying the NIAID head has failed to provide specific metrics for when life can go back to normal.
“Right now we have about 60,000 cases of infections a day, which is a very large risk for a surge. We’re not talking about liberties. We’re talking about a pandemic that has killed 560,000 Americans,” Dr. Fauci said.
Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC) chimed in, saying First Amendment rights will return when “90% of the members of the United States Congress get vaccinated.”
Jordan replied saying he wanted to hear from Dr. Fauci.
“I want to know if that’s what Dr. Fauci thinks. Is it 90%, Dr. Fauci? Is it 90%?” Jordan asked. “That’s what I’d like to know. Give us some objective standards versus when some things are reached we might be able to get back to having our liberty. When? What are the numbers?”
Instead of providing a tangible number, Dr. Fauci answered again with generalities.
Clyburn responded again. “When 90% of the members of the United States Congress get vaccinated.
Jordan fired back. “Mr. Chairman, I don’t want you to answer my question. The American people want Dr. Fauci to answer the question.”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) April 15, 2021
Beth Baumann is a Political Reporter and Editor at The Daily Wire. Follow her on Twitter @eb454.