Rather than analyze Senator Rand Paul’s charges that Dr. Anthony Fauci has lied to Congress, used “government resources to smear and to destroy the reputation of other scientists who disagree with” him, and crafted a failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a CNN host has claimed that Paul’s “body language” proved the Kentucky Republican is “jealous” of Fauci.
Paul once again clashed with Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President, during a televised Senate Health Committee hearing on Tuesday.
Paul’s main contention with Fauci was that he had joined with former National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins in supporting a “published takedown” of prominent epidemiologists who argued in favor of governments taking a more measured and targeted approach to the spread of coronavirus.
He cited Fauci’s advocacy of lockdowns and the rising number of COVID-19 deaths over the last year. “You are the one responsible,” Paul told Fauci. “You are the lead architect for the response from the government, and now 800,000 people have died. Do you think it’s a winning success, what you’ve advocated for government?”
“Do you really think it’s appropriate to use your $420,000 salary to attack science that doesn’t agree with you?” Paul asked Fauci. The senator called the attempt to paint the declaration’s authors, who graduated from Ivy League institutions, as “fringe” figures “the epitome of cheap politics.”
CNN’s Don Lemon played a portion of the hearings on his show Tuesday night, before accusing Paul of having a case of sour grapes.
“You have advocated that your infallible opinion be dictated by law,” Paul told Fauci during the portion of the testimony played by Lemon.
“Did you catch that this time?” Lemon asked his audience. “Is somebody — is he jealous? Is somebody jealous of Dr. Fauci?”
“That’s what it sounds like if you, like, read the intonation and the body language, right?” Lemon asserted. But reading body language may not be Lemon’s forté. When a man named Dustin Hice allegedly approached Lemon at a Long Island bar in summer 2018, Lemon allegedly rubbed his hands on his genitalia, then thrust them under Hice’s nose while asking, “Do you like p**** or d***?” Hice filed a $1.5 million lawsuit, which has not yet been fully adjudicated.
Lemon has regularly impugned the motives of his critics, rather than dealing with the substance of their arguments. He has repeatedly demeaned those who oppose his political agenda as being aligned with neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.
Fauci questioned Paul’s motives by citing Paul’s fundraising pitches to oust Fauci, the highest-paid employee in the federal government, from his job. Fauci held up a picture emblazoned with the words “Fire Dr. Fauci,” a gesture that backfired as it instantly went viral.
The two men have engaged in pitched public battles over the last year. In response to Paul’s questioning, Fauci insisted last May that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
Yet a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request uncovered an NIH grant seemingly funding gain of function research probing the possibility of increasing the transmissibility of “bat coronavirus” to humans at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. “Knowing it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement?” Senator Paul asked Fauci last July.
“Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about,” Fauci shot back. “If anybody is lying here, Senator, it is you.” Lying to Congress is “a felony punishable by five years in jail. We’ve referred it to the Department of Justice,” Paul told Fox News host Sean Hannity last year.
In Tuesday’s hearing, Fauci claimed that Paul’s probing questions had caused threats on Fauci’s life. “It’s disappointing for you to suggest that people who dare to question you are responsible somehow for violent threats,” responded Paul.
Other darlings of the Left, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), regularly deflect allegations by accusing their opponents of putting their lives in danger. The same strategy has been adopted by MSNBC/CNN guests like Michael Eric Dyson, reporters at National Public Radio, and TV medical experts like Dr. Peter Hotez. Hotez accused Fox News and “members of the United States Congress” of leading an “authoritarian” conspiracy to “say things to incite violence against scientists.” Hotez alleged, “This is a systematic attempt by the leadership of Fox News to target not only the science, not only to discredit vaccines, but to put a target on the back of scientists — prominent U.S. scientists.”
Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack today.@IlhanMN’s life is in danger. For our colleagues to be silent is to be complicit in the outright, dangerous targeting of a member of Congress.
We must speak out.
“First they came…” pic.twitter.com/ygOX1vhE9j
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 12, 2019
Critics say these imputations of ill will stem from political motives on the part of the accusers. Lemon’s view of the goodness of government sharply clashes with Senator Paul’s libertarian views. Lemon fretted that “about 20% of the public really doesn’t believe in science or institutions or the Establishment.”
Lemon has made outlandish claims in the past. Last month, he blamed the increase in traffic accidents on an alleged “lack of civility that we have seen in school board meetings, over mask mandates, and on airplanes.”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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