Republican Senator Rand Paul (KY) unloaded on Dr. Fauci during his Tuesday hearing, accusing Fauci of using his rank to help in the public smearing of scientists with whom he disagreed with.
Paul, citing an email initially written by former NIH Director Francis Collins, stated that Fauci agreed with Collins and allowed or helped in the “takedown” of epidemiologists from Oxford, Harvard and Stanford — whose ideas Collins said should be said to be “fringe.”
“Dr. Fauci, the idea that an official such as yourself would say that you unilaterally represent science and that any criticism is criticism of science is very dangerous,” Paul said, adding that Fauci was effectively “ruling by mandate” and in many cases, his opinions were quickly used as federal policy.
“In an email discussion with Dr. Collins, you conspired, and I am quoting here, to ‘create a fast and devastating published takedown’ of three top epidemiologists from Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford,” Paul said.
Fauci objected, stating that the email was written by Collins — at which point Rand Paul said that Fauci could have replied differently instead of going along with the requested “takedown.”
“A published takedown, though, you know does not exactly conjure up the idea of a dispassionate scientist,” Paul said. “Instead of working with them on the merits, you and Dr. Collins tried to smear these people as ‘fringe’ and not in scientific journals, in the lay press. This is not only going against science, it is the essence of cheap politics, and it is terrible, Dr. Fauci.”
The Great Barrington Declaration — the comment prompting Collins’ call for a fast and complete “takedown” — advocated more targeting to COVID-19 and warned about the dangers of blanket policies like full lockdowns and national mandates.
The GBD reads:
“As immunity builds in the American population, the risk of infection – including to vulnerable people – falls. We understand all populations will eventually get herd immunity – i.e. the point at which the new infection rate is stable – and this can be helped by (but is not dependent on) a vaccine. Our goal should be to lower mortality and social harm until we get to herd immunity.”