'You are distorting everything about me': Is Dr. Fauci right about Sen. Paul?

Washington Post

Fact Box

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci is the leading immunologist for the White House, serving as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. 
  • Rand Paul is a Republican member of the US Senate, elected in 2010. He is vocal in his disapproval of Dr. Fauci on his website, stating, “[He] has been ignoring good advice, and lying about everything from masks to the contagiousness of the virus. It’s time to say enough is enough and fire Fauci.”
  • In a government hearing about the pandemic, Senator Paul referenced a list of emails allegedly proving Dr. Fauci’s “smear campaign.” Fauci responded asserting he was “disorting everything about me” and kindling “threats” on his life and family.  
  • In a December 2021 Gallup poll, Dr. Fauci’s approval rating sat at 52% with a disapproval rating of 47%.

Curtice (No)

During his recent Senate testimony, Dr. Anthony Fauci complained to Senator Rand Paul that he is 'distorting everything' about him in a heated exchange. Paul, a frequent critic of Fauci, has questioned him repeatedly in Senate hearings about, for example, gain-of-function funding. Under oath during Senate hearings, Fauci has repeatedly lied about gain-of-function funding and research. Even Lawrence A. Tabak, a top official at the National Institutes of Health, had to concede that, despite repeated assertions to the contrary by Fauci, the NIH did indeed fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Using Fauci's logic, the NIH is distorting his record too.

Paul also challenged Fauci on his assertion that attacks on him are attacks on 'science.' His arrogance is not very becoming. Science is many things, but it is not solely Anthony Fauci, the highest-paid federal employee.

Fauci has further used his position to discredit the Wuhan lab leak theory and prominent scientists who have held the plausible belief that COVID could have originated from the Wuhan lab. In March 2020, he called the theory a 'shiny object that will go away.' This theory has become much more of an accepted possibility in recent months, despite Dr. Fauci trying to discredit it as merely a conspiracy. Given his false assertions about gain-of-function funding, it's no wonder Fauci had hoped it would go away.

Whether it has been mask requirements, school closures, or a host of any other COVID-related items, Fauci has often backtracked or flip-flopped. Yet, he has consistently stated that he has been right at every turn. Rather than address the not-unreasonable questions of Senator Paul and other Senators, Fauci prefers to feign indignation, as if his edicts should continue to go unquestioned.

Siam (Yes)

There is no question Senator Rand Paul and Dr. Fauci do not like each other. They have clashed often, and at a recent Senate hearing, Fauci accused Paul of 'distorting everything' about him. And Fauci is right; Paul has been grandstanding only for political gain. 

First, on November 4, 2021, Sen. Paul accused Dr. Fauci of sending a $600,000 NIH grant to the Wuhan Research labs, whose research resulted in the death of four million people. That was misinformed. That same day, Paul claimed on his website that Fauci knew the US-funded grant to Wuhan was 'gain-of-function' research. There is still no conclusive evidence the research conducted in the Wuhan labs, with or without a grant from the NIH, led to the development of the coronavirus. He has also continually accused Fauci of refusing to admit the coronavirus came from the Wuhan labs. So far, no one has shown that it has; there is only speculation.

Sen. Paul has even accused Dr. Fauci of lying about the benefits of masks, but Fauci has never claimed masks were not effective. Paul has also said Fauci ignores 'good advice,' but Fauci works with a large team of members from the NIH and CDC, who update him on all the latest in the world regarding COVID. Lastly, Paul has accused Fauci of lying before Congress about the funding to Wuhan labs. Fauci was not initially aware that an NIH grant was awarded to Wuhan labs, but once he found out that fact was true, he did acknowledge that. Sen. Paul's accusations are not benign as Dr. Fauci claims they have led to death threats and violence against him and his family. Eventually, the political sparring must end.

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