Sen. Rand Paul confronts Fauci over ‘takedown’ of scientists who disagreed with him

- SARA CARTER - STAFF - JAN 11, 2022 -

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is also a doctor, once again got into a heated exchange during Fauci’s testimony on Tuesday. Senator Paul focused on Fauci’s involvement in smearing doctors from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford who had differing opinions than his own.


“In an email exchange with Dr. [Francis] Collins, you conspire, and I quote here directly from the email, to ‘create a quick and devastating published takedown’ of three prominent epidemiologists from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford,” said Paul in reference to the recently retired National Institutes of Health director.


Fox News reports:


Paul went on to cite the email exchange, in which Collins was discussing the Great Barrington Declaration, which opposed large-scale lockdowns as a response to the pandemic in favor of “focused protection” and herd immunity.


In response, Fauci sent Collins articles from Wired and The Nation that had already slammed this position. While Fauci himself had not penned those pieces, Paul accused him of going along with Collins’ effort to smear the doctors behind the Great Barrington Declaration.


“Instead of engaging them on the merits, you and Dr. Collins sought to smear them as fringe and take them down, and not in journals in lay press. This is not only antithetical to the scientific method, it’s the epitome of cheap politics, and it’s reprehensible, Dr. Fauci.”


Fauci’s initial response was that the email was from Collins to him, not the other way around, but Paul noted that Fauci responded to it with agreement.


The NIAID director then accused Paul of “distorting everything about me,” which he said is Paul’s “usual fashion.”


Paul, who is also a doctor, went on to allege that this was not the only time that Fauci has “conspired” when it comes to messaging about the pandemic. He pointed to an article from Nature Medicine in 2020 from several doctors that went against the idea that COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan lab, despite the authors being part of a conference call days earlier in which the lab leak theory was discussed as a possibility.


That article, and Fauci’s communications with the authors, were noted in a letter sent earlier Tuesday morning from Reps. James Comer, R-Ky., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to Health and Human Services Director Xavier Becerra.


Fauci admitted that he spoke privately with scientists behind that article, but when Paul asked him about the substance of the conversation and whether they initially believed the virus came from a lab, Fauci changed the subject by accusing Paul of wasting time by going after him.


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