Fauci clashes with Paul, says attacks ‘kindles the crazies’

Coronavirus

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, testifies before a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the federal response to COVID-19 and new emerging variants, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON (The Hill) – White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci accused Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) of putting him in danger with personal attacks during the pair’s latest clash on Tuesday.

During a Senate Health Committee hearing on the government’s response to the omicron variant, Paul went after Fauci on several different topics, including blaming Fauci for school closures and conflating emails purportedly about the origins of the virus.

“This happens all the time. You personally attack me, with absolutely not a shred of evidence of anything you say. So I would like to make something clear to the committee: You’re doing this for political reasons,” Fauci told Paul.

Fauci pointed out that the police in Iowa recently arrested an armed man just before Christmas who claimed he was traveling from Sacramento to Washington, D.C., in order to “kill Dr. Fauci.”

According to reports at the time, the man was arrested in possession of an assault rifle and ammunition, as well as a “kill list” of people he planned to attack in D.C., including Fauci, President Biden and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

“So I ask myself why would [the] senator want to do this? You go to Rand Paul website, and you see ‘fire Dr. Fauci’ with a little box that says ‘contribute here!’ You can do $5, $10, $20, $100. So you are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political gain,” Fauci told Paul. 

“What happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue, all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there, and I have threats upon my life, harassment of my family, and my children will have seen phone calls because people are lying about me,” Fauci told the Senate committee. 

During one exchange, Paul pressed Fauci over an email and accused the expert of trying to “attack scientists who disagree with you.” 

“You just do the same thing every hearing,” Fauci told him. “You’re absolutely incorrect, as usual, senator.”

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