WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Dr. Anthony Fauci called out Sen. Rand Paul during a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
- Fauci called out the senator over personal attacks, accusing: “You are distorting everything about me”
- Numerous heated exchanges have transpired between the two men throughout the pandemic.
Dr. Anthony Fauci once again clashed with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) during a Senate hearing on Tuesday. The GOP senator attacked Fauci for appearing to disagree with scientists who said the coronavirus originated in a Wuhan lab in China.
“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 said at the Senate hearing.
The infectious disease expert have sparred with the lawmaker at previous hearings about the coronavirus.
Fauci blasted Paul for making political attacks against him. Fauci noted that a man who was arrested Dec. 21 while traveling from Sacramento, California, was alleged to have told police that he was headed to Washington, D.C., to kill him. The man had an AR-15 rifle in his vehicle, along with magazines of ammunition, police said.
“So I asked myself, ‘Why would senator want to do this?’ So go to Rand Paul website and you see ‘Fire Dr. Fauci’ with a little box that says, ‘Contribute here.’ You can do $5, $10, $20, $100,” Fauci said. “So you are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political gain.”
Paul said earlier in the hearing that an email exchange between Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins, a former director of the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, showed Fauci and Collins appearing to disagree with scientists who said the coronavirus originated in a lab in China.
“You know, you’re going back to that original discussion when I brought together a group of people to look at every possibility with an open mind,” Fauci said. “So you’re not only distorting it, you are completely turning it around, as you usually do.”
Paul said in a statement after the hearing, “Anyone who dares to question Fauci’s smear campaign against other scientists is accused by Fauci of fomenting violence.”
In July, Paul implied that Fauci had previously lied to Congress and was aware of what the lab in Wuhan, China, was doing with grant money that came from the NIH.
Tuesday’s hearing also sparked a tense exchange between Fauci and Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., about Fauci’s financial disclosures and investments.
After the back-and-forth, Fauci was heard on a hot mic saying: “What a moron. Jesus Christ.”
Marshall said in a statement after the proceedings, “Calling me a moron during a Senate hearing may have alleviated the stress of the least trusted bureaucrat in America, but it didn’t take away from the facts.”
Source: NBC News