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Fauci Testimony Turns Chaotic: ‘Most Insane Hearing I’ve Attended’

In World
June 03, 2024

A hearing in the House Oversight Committee once again devolved into chaos as Republican lawmakers attempted to pillory former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci over his involvement in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fauci was summoned before the committee on Monday, where Republicans grilled him over the effectiveness of social distancing measures, his relationship with major pharmaceutical companies, and a slew of pandemic-era conspiracies.

Never one to miss an opportunity to perform for C-SPAN’s cameras, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) refused to address Fauci as a doctor, refused to allow him to answer questions, and said the veteran civil servant deserves to be in prison.

“Mr. Fauci, because you’re not Doctor [Fauci], you’re Mr. Fauci in my few minutes,” Greene said.

After Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-Mass.) raised a point of order, arguing Greene’s refusal to address Dr. Fauci by his title constituted a violation of the committee’s rules, the Georgia congresswoman said Fauci “does not deserve to have a license. As a matter of fact it should be revoked and he belongs in prison.”

Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) then ordered Greene to suspend and to refer to Fauci according to his appropriate title. The verbal back and forth came just weeks after Greene derailed an Oversight Committee hearing by attacking the appearance of another congresswoman.

Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Fla.) apologized to Fauci on behalf of Democrats on the committee for Greene’s antics. “This might be the most insane hearing I’ve attended,” Garcia said, pointing out that both his mother, a health care worker, and his stepfather died of Covid-19. “I lost both of my parents during the pandemic, so I take this very personally, especially when other members of this body – who are tasked to be responsible and actually help the American people — attack medical professionals like you,” he said.

In his own remarks to the committee, Raskin called out Republican’s hostility towards Fauci. “They are treating you like a convicted felon. Actually, you probably wish they were treating you like a convicted felon,” Raskin said. “They treat convicted felons with love and admiration. Some of them blindly worship convicted felons,” he added, noting the sycophantic ire with which Greene and other Republican lawmakers reacted to the criminal conviction of former President Donald Trump last week.

Whenever Fauci was actually allowed to respond to questions from Republican lawmakers, he took the opportunity to push back on many of the conspiracies about his role in the pandemic.

When asked if he received any royalties from Big Pharma since 2021, Fauci responded that he’s made “zero” dollars in pandemic royalties. “I got $122 for a monoclonal antibody I created 27 years ago,” Fauci added, clarifying that the decades-old research was unrelated to the pandemic.

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) attempted to press Fauci over claims that Covid-19 originated from a research laboratory, or the so-called “lab leak” theory.

“I don’t think the concept of there being a lab leak is inherently a conspiracy theory,” Fauci responded. “What is conspiracy is the kind of distortions of that particular subject, like it was a lab leak and I was parachuted into the CIA like Jason Bourne and told the CIA they shouldn’t be talking about a lab leak.”

Fauci also addressed continued concerns about his safety given the slew of conspiracies pushed by prominent Republicans about his involvement in the pandemic response.

“Do you continue to get threats today?” Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) asked.

“I do,” Fauci responded. “Every time somebody gets up and says I’m responsible for the deaths of people throughout the world.”

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