Dr. Anthony Fauci "has to go" because he chose "big tech, Mark Zuckerberg, the Chinese Communist Party, and protecting a Chinese Communist Party-run lab" over giving information to the American people, Sen. Marsha Blackburn insisted on Newsmax Thursday.
"He had information early on and he had questions early on," the Tennessee Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "Was he sharing those with President (Donald) Trump and with Congress and the American people? No. He chose to share it with Mark Zuckerberg."
Blackburn also slammed Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, after he told NBC News' Chuck Todd Wednesday that he had "no idea what she's talking about" and flatly dismissed her claims that emails between him and Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, point to a narrative that information on the pandemic was being suppressed.
Zuckerberg had invited Fauci, in the early days of the pandemic, to a question and answer video on the platform and outlined some ideas where the social media network could work with the government on the response to COVID, according to emails released in recent days.
"Dr. Fauci did with big media what he did with big tech and you will note while he ridiculed my statements and ridiculed me, he did not refute anything that I said, and that is the problem," Blackburn said in response. "We know that he was in cahoots with Mark Zuckerberg. This has all come out. We also know that he had questions about what was going on in that lab and gain of function research and how this may have gotten away from them."
It's also known that Fauci had questions about the virus having been leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said Blackburn, "but what he chose to do was protect himself, protect the lab, protect the Chinese Communist Party ... what he did not do was come to Congress or the administration, to President Trump, to Vice President (Mike) Pence and say, hey, you know, we need to get in behind this and figure out where this virus isn't what has happened."
But had Fauci taken his questions and concerns to the administration, that maybe could have helped to speed up the response, even while Operation Warp Speed, the president's initiative, was "incredibly successful," the senator said.
Meanwhile, the NIAID "wrote a check" to the Wuhan laboratory for research in coronaviruses, said Blackburn.
"Now bear in mind, we have two labs in the U.S. that do research on coronavirus," Blackburn said, noting that one of the labs is in Nashville at Vanderbilt University but no deadly viruses have leaked from there.
Meanwhile, the senator is planning a press conference Thursday to discuss how big tech companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and YouTube censored people who said COVID was likely developed in the Wuhan lab, and to demand that Fauci should "step aside" from his job.
"It all needs to be investigated," she said. "We have standing committees in the U. S. Senate that can take this up today."
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