Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have grilled Fauci over gain-of-function research
Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Dr. Frita Fisher joined ‘Fox Report Weekend’ to discuss the new COVID variant.
Fauci has served as the face of the government’s pandemic response, putting him at odds with lawmakers who remain critical of that response. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has frequently sparred with Fauci over various statements and policies the president’s chief medical adviser has made or endorsed.
Most recently, Paul blasted Fauci for “obfuscating the truth” about the National Institutes of Health funding gain-of-function research after the organization admitted in a letter to House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer, R-Ky., that a “limited experiment” was indeed conducted.
“Anybody who’s looking at this carefully realizes that there’s a distinct anti-science flavor to this, so if they get up and criticize science, nobody’s going to know what they’re talking about,” Fauci said. “But if they get up and really aim their bullets at Tony Fauci, well people can recognize that there’s a person there, so it’s easy to criticize, but they’re really criticizing science because I represent science.”
Paul took to Twitter Sunday morning to respond to Fauci’s claims, calling it “absolute hubris” for Fauci to declare that he represents science.
“It’s astounding and alarming that a public health bureaucrat would even think to claim such a thing, especially one who has worked so hard to ignore the science of natural immunity,” Paul wrote.
Fauci also dismissed a suggestion from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that he should be prosecuted by the attorney general over his comments about the gain-of-function research. Cruz tweeted that “It’s a crime to knowingly lie to Congress, so I asked AG Garland if he’d appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Fauci.”
Fauci laughed at the suggestion, asking, “What happened on January 6th, senator?” He “you’d have to be asleep” not to believe that Republicans are trying to “scapegoat” him.
In a five-tweet Twitter thread issued in response to Fauci’s comment against him on Sunday, Cruz excoriated Fauci as an “unelected technocrat who has distorted science and facts in order to exercise authoritarian control over millions of Americans.”
Saying that Fauci “lives in a liberal world,” Cruz went on to cite the section of the U.S. Code that both he and Paul allege Fauci violated when he testified before a Senate Committee in May that “the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
Cruz also blasted Fauci for attempting to deflect lawmakers’ criticism against him by resorting to “ad hominem insults parroting Democrat talking points,” and concluded by reiterating that the DOJ should prosecute him.
Fox News’ Charles Creitz and Jon Brown contributed to this report.
Peter Aitken is a New York born-and-raised reporter with a focus on national and global news.