OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former top immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci went viral on social media over the weekend but not in a way he would ask for.
A Twitter user named Ada Lluch posted a photo on Saturday of Melissa Rein Lively, a young woman who had taken a picture with Fauci at an event in Washington, D.C. To look at Fauci’s face, one would likely believe he thought he was simply posing for a picture with a fan.
“Instead, a closer look at the picture shows Lively making an obscene gesture to give us an idea of her thoughts on ‘America’s Doctor,'” the Western Journal notes.
In a caption for the post, Lluch appeared to speak for tens of millions of Americans who are not fans of the former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Everyone is jealous that they didn’t get to do it!” Lluch wrote.
If you’re not someone who is easily offended, take a look:
I met this fun lady at CPAC today. Her name is Melissa Rein Lively. Tonight she met Fauci in Washington DC and took this incredible picture with him.
Everyone is jealous that they didn’t get to do it! 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/1Hf0LxDwpY
— Ada Lluch 🇪🇸 (@ada_lluch) March 4, 2023
Fauci is in hot water with several lawmakers — all Republicans — who have accused him of playing a role in the COVID-19 pandemic, the most vocal of whom is Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), himself a physician.
Paul issued a brutal statement to the then-retiring Fauci in December after the NIAID chief was asked if there was anything he would do differently regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
“I’m the first to admit I’m far from perfect, but when you say do over, you know, I really can’t see something that I would do completely over,” Fauci said.
Paul was not happy with Fauci’s statement.
“Likely there is no public figure, or public health figure, that has made a greater error in judgment than Dr. Fauci. The error in judgment was to fund gain-of-function research in a totalitarian country — fund research that allowed them to create super viruses that, in all likelihood, accidentally leaked into the public and caused seven million people to die,” said Paul, who frequently clashed with Fauci during Senate oversight hearings into Fauci’s responses and recommendations regarding the pandemic.
“Think about it. This is right up there with decisions, some of them malevolent or military, to kill millions of people,” Paul said. “This is accidental, but it goes to judgment.”
“Talk about errors. You think he might apologize to the world for funding research that allowed superviruses to be created in a lab – a lab that was not properly outfitted for safety, that people were already reporting was dangerous – to support that kind of research, and then to look the other way and say, ‘Nothing to see here,’ and to cover it up,” Paul noted.
“For the last two years, he’s been covering his tracks, but we’ve caught him red-handed, and he won’t get away,” the GOP senator added.
He also predicted that Fauci would indeed go into the history books but that he would not be remembered as fondly as Fauci himself may think.
“Historically, he will be remembered for one of the worst judgments in the history of modern medicine,” he said, going on to say he planned to try and hold Fauci “accountable” for funding the research.
“I will not only hold Dr. Fauci accountable, we will finally investigate why your tax dollars were sent to fund dangerous research in Wuhan,” he said.
According to WKYU-FM, Paul described his post-election celebration as “Dr. Fauci’s retirement party.”
“Are you listening Dr. Fauci? No bureaucrat should be above the law,” Paul said. “No bureaucrat should be allowed to deny information to Congress, and no bureaucrat should be allowed to lie to Congress.”
In December 2021, Paul publicly accused Fauci of lying to Congress during his Senate testimony.
In an interview with Fox Business, the Kentucky Republican admitted he does not “have a lot of hope” that Fauci is going to be charged by President Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, who likely is not going to be “objectively looking” at the chief White House medical adviser’s congressional testimony.
“We’ve referred him to the Department of Justice, but then again, Merrick Garland is the one now going after parents that go to school board meetings,” Paul said.
“So I don’t have a lot of hope that Merrick Garland is objectively looking at Fauci’s lying,” Paul continued, followed by a pointed 12-word statement about the NIAID director: “Fauci should go to prison for five years for lying to Congress.”