Fauci escalates feud with GOP senators, declaring ‘I represent science’
Top doc gets political during TV appearance, says too early to tell if new coronavirus variant evades vaccine or will require a lockdown.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
Dr. Anthony Fauci escalated his feud with Republicans on Sunday, declaring on national television that senators who are challenging his COVID policy decision are “anti-science.”
”They're really criticizing science because I represent science. That's dangerous,” Fauci told CBS Face the Nation.
The top doctor’s comment drew immediate criticism, including from longtime critic Sen. Rand Paul, who called it “hubris.”
"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.
Wikipedia founder Larry Sanger added his own slam. “Fauci is a bureaucrat, not a scientist,” he tweeted.
Fauci and his boss, NIH Director Francis Collins, spent most of their time on television Sunday talking about the new coronavirus variant called Omicron.
Fauci said the U.S. must do “anything and everything” to curb cases of the variant, although it’s “too early to say” whether a lockdown was needed.
Collins said it will take weeks before scientists understand how effective current vaccines are at protecting against it.
“We do know that this is a variant that has a lot of mutations—like 50 of them, and more than 30 of those in the spike protein, which is the part off the virus that attaches to your human cells if you get infected,” Collins told Fox News.
Fauci added he believed Americans had to get ready to live with COVID.
“I don’t think we’re going to eradicate it,” he said. “We’ve only eradicated one infection of mankind, and that’s smallpox. I don’t think we’re even going to eliminate it.”
But it was Fauci’s war of words with GOP senators that generated the most buzz..
“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."
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