OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Republican Texas Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci have had a legendary feud and they do not appear to be moving closer to friendship anytime in the near future.
On Tuesday, the two went toe to toe again as Dr. Fauci stood before the Senate to talk about the government’s response to the pandemic.
“The idea that a government official like yourself would claim unilaterally to represent science and that any criticism of you would be considered a criticism of science itself is quite dangerous…It is cheap politics & it is reprehensible,” the senator said.
“You are the lead architect for the response, and now 800k people have died,” he said.
Paul said that Fauci conspired with a colleague to “create a quick and devastating published takedown of three prominent epidemiologists from Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford.”
“In an email exchange with Dr. Collins, you conspire and I quote here directly from the email to create a quick and devastating published takedown of three prominent epidemiologists from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford,” he said.
“Apparently, there’s a lot of fringe epidemiologists at Harvard, Oxford and Stanford,” he said.
“A published takedown, though, doesn’t exactly conjure up the image of a dispassionate scientist. Instead of engaging them on their merits, you and Dr. Collins sought to smear them as fringe and take them down and not in journals in laypress,” he said.
“This is not only antithetical to the scientific method, it is the epitome of cheap politics and it’s reprehensible, Dr. Fauci,” the senator said.
“Dr. Fauci do you really think it’s appropriate to use your $420,000 salary to attack scientists that disagree with you?” he said.
.@RandPaul to Fauci: "[T]he idea that a government official like yourself would claim unilaterally to represent science and that any criticism of you would be considered a criticism of science itself is quite dangerous…It is cheap politics & it is reprehensible." pic.twitter.com/b6JCaaHQTR
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 11, 2022
The doctor was incensed at Paul and went on to personally attack him and accuse him of playing politics.
“In usual fashion, Senator, you are distorting everything about me,” Fauci said.
“You keep coming back to personal attacks on me that have absolutely no relevance,” he said.
The doctor went on to tell the story of a man who was arrested on his way to Washington DC to “kill Dr. Fauci.”
“What happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue is that all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there and I have threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me,” he said.
“Just about three or four weeks ago, on December 21st, a person was arrested who was on their way from Sacramento to Washington DC at a speed stop in Iowa and the police asked him where he was going and he was going to Washington DC to kill Dr. Fauci.
“And they found in his car an AR-15 and multiple magazines of ammunition because he thinks that maybe I’m killing people, so I ask myself ‘Why would Senator want to do this?’
“Go to Rand Paul website and you see ‘Fire Dr. Fauci’ with a little box that says ‘contribute here.’ You can do $5, $10, $10, $100. So you are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political gain,” he said.
WATCH: Dr. Fauci talks about how a man was arrested for treating to kill him.
He blames it on Rand Paul having a "Fire Fauci" banner on his website, which he pulls out a printed copy of. pic.twitter.com/QbS0ov23eB
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 11, 2022
But Dr. Fauci did not address that many points that Sen. Paul hammered him with.
The paper that Paul was referring to demanded a “quick and devastating” takedown of a piece by epidemiologists that argued for natural herd immunity,” The Daily Mail reported.
The emails, some of which were tweeted out on Saturday by Phil Magness, senior research faculty and interim research and education director at the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), show Fauci and Francis Collins attempting to coordinate a ‘devastating takedown’ of the Great Barrington Declaration.
AIER, a libertarian think tank, sponsored the declaration, which largely abandons lockdowns in favor of a herd immunity strategy that allows life to return to normal.
In an October 8 email from Collins to Fauci, the head of the NIH calls the GBD the work of ‘three fringe epidemiologists’ that ‘seems to be getting a lot of attention.’
Collins adds that ‘there needs to be a quick and devastating published takedown of its premises. I don’t see anything like that online yet – is it underway?’
Later in the day, Fauci sends Collins a Wired op-ed that refutes the notion of herd immunity stopping the pandemic.
Collins then sends Fauci an op-ed in The Nation also trashing the GBD.