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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) criticized former President Donald Trump this week for claiming during an interview that he could not fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, saying that even if that were true, there was no reason why Trump had to put Fauci in charge of managing the U.S. government’s response to the pandemic.
“He should not be so proud of keeping Fauci around,” Paul told Fox News host Jesse Watters. “Fauci was a menace to the truth. Talk about a fount of misinformation, it’s Anthony Fauci. More misinformation came out of the government than any other source. So he should have fired him.”
When asked if he thought Fauci was going to play a big role in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, Paul said, “It may because Fauci did stick around.”
“There may be civil service rules about actually firing him, but there’s no reason he had to head up the pandemic committee, the COVID Committee,” Paul said. “So he was on the committee. In fact, if not the lead, he was the committee with the vice president. They met all of the time.”
Under federal civil service law, Trump did not have the power to directly fire Fauci, although he could have ordered political appointees to begin termination proceedings if they had cause, according to CNN. Trump could have diminished Fauci’s role in press briefings and the making and implementation of COVID policy, however.
Paul said that Fauci “pushed out” then-CDC Director Robert Redfield from the committee, who Paul said was “the one sane voice on the committee.”
“The one thing that could have saved thousands of lives before the vaccine, was that the nurses and the assistants and the people taking care of people in the nursing home, we should have put people in those positions who had already been infected and recovered, knowing that naturally acquired immunity would then protect those senior citizens from getting infected,” Paul said. “And we never did that because Fauci kept saying, ‘well, we’re not sure, we’re not sure.'”
“Well, immunity, we are pretty certain of,” Paul added. “That’s what vaccines are based on his naturally acquired immunity from the disease. We try to simulate that with a vaccine. So — but by denying it, I think many lives were cost, and there would have been a better way, I think, under the Trump administration to marginalize and push Fauci out of the spotlight and keep his nonsense and his misinformation from infecting the rest of us.”
Sen. @RandPaul rips Trump for keeping Fauci around:
"He should not be so proud of keeping Fauci around. Fauci was a menace to the truth. Talk about a fount of misinformation. It's Anthony Fauci. More misinformation came out of the government than any other source, so he should… pic.twitter.com/7PgKg1AnQj
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) June 21, 2023