Dr. Anthony Fauci has taken heat from across the political spectrum lately over federal guidelines that conflict with “the science,” but when asked about how he deals with criticism, he chalked it up to “extreme people” who are “trying to politicize me.”
The White House coronavirus adviser named Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, as chief examples of the “extreme.”
MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle posed the question, asking Fauci how he finds the strength to carry on when people challenge him despite all he has done for the country.
“You know, I don’t take those things personally,” Fauci replied. “There is an aspect of that, for certain people, that are correct. Because if you look at the people that are politicizing me, they’re somebody, they’re all the way over on one level.”
But many other people, he said, “look upon me the way they should — as a non-political person that I am, as a public health person — and listen to what I have to say.”
“So if you have the extreme people that are very, very far off to one level, feel that I have become — they have politicized me,” he said.
“I mean, of course, if you look at some of the congressional hearings that have gone on, it’s been a show,” Fauci continued.
“You know, people get up there like Congressman Jim Jordan and Senator Rand Paul, of course, they politicize me. But, you know, it is what it is. You’ve just got to go ahead and do what you have to do.”
See the segment:
At a hearing in March, Paul, a practicing physician, confronted Fauci for his insistence that people who have been vaccinated must continue to wear a mask.
Paul asked Fauci what scientific studies he could cite that indicated people who have had the infection or a vaccine will spread the coronavirus?
“If we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater? You’ve had the vaccine and you wearing two masks, isn’t that just theater?” the Kentucky senator asked.
At a Senate hearing last June, Paul chastised Fauci for equivocating on the issue of sending children back to school when the science already was clear that COVID-19 has little impact on children.
In November, three months into the school year, Fauci essentially admitted that Paul was right.
“If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not very big at all, not like one would have suspected,” Fauci told ABC’s “This Week.” “So let’s try to get the kids back and try to mitigate the things that maintain and push the kind of community spread we are trying to avoid.”
In April, Jordan engaged in a heated exchange with Fauci in a House hearing over shifting metrics for lifting coronavirus restrictions.
“What measure, what standard, what objective outcome do we have to reach before, before Americans get their liberty and freedoms back?” Jordan asked.
“You know, you’re indicating liberty and freedom. I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to the hospital. You’re making this a personal thing and it isn’t,” Fauci said.
‘Aren’t these CDC guidelines excessive?’
But Fauci has taken heat recently from members of the usually friendly establishment media as well.
On Wednesday, he was pressed on the CDC summer-camp guidelines by NBC “Today” co-host Savannah Guthrie.
“Given what research shows about transmission outside, about the low risk of transmission in children, aren’t these CDC guidelines excessive?” she asked Wednesday morning.
“You know, I wouldn’t call them excessive, Savannah, but they certainly are conservative,” Fauci replied with a nervous laugh. “And I think what you’re going to start to see is really, in real time, continually reevaluating that for it’s practicality.
“Because you’re right,” he continued. “People look at that and they say, Well, is that being a little bit too far right now?”
Guthrie interjected: “Yeah, because aren’t we supposed to be — I mean, people have been preaching for a year, follow the science. The science doesn’t suggest those CDC guidelines are too sensible.
“For little kids, outside in 90 degree heat running around in masks?”
See Fauci’s remarks:
Dr. Fauci on CDC guidelines that turn summer camps into outdoor prisons: “I wouldn’t call them excessive, I would say they’re conservative” pic.twitter.com/dQGNiw3qOK
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 5, 2021
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