Another high-drama exchange between Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Dr. Anthony Fauci featured the COVID-19 response leader pivoting during Senate questioning to say Paul's criticism of him "kindles the crazies."
"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 life threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls, because people are lying about me now," Fauci said, deflecting from Paul's questioning to accusing Paul of inspiring death threats against him.
After the chairwoman of the Senate Health Committee, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., ended Paul's time, she gave Fauci some time to speak.
"Just about three or four weeks ago when, Dec. 21, a person was arrested who was on the way from Sacramento to Washington, D.C., at a speed stop in Iowa, and they asked, the police asked him, where he was going," Fauci said. "And he was going to Washington, D.C., 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."
Fauci then accused Paul of political attacks for accuing him of "cheap politics," having worked to disparage scientists who question the origins of COVID-19 as "fringe."
"Dr. Fauci do you really think it's appropriate to use your $420,000 salary to attack scientists that disagree with you?" Paul asked, a question Fauci did not answer.
"Do you think we slowed down the death rate?" Paul also asked Fauci, which was also not answered. "More people have died now under President [Joe] Biden than did under President [Donald] Trump.
"You are the one responsible. You are the architect. You are the lead architect for the response from the government. And now 800,000 people have died, right? You think it's a winning success, what you've advocated for government?"
Fauci pivoted to an accusation the Paul was "politicizing" the pandemic.
"I would like to make something clear to the committee: He's doing this for political reasons," Fauci said.
Paul responded, "do you think your takedown of prominent epidemiologist was not political?"
Murray had to cut Fauci's allegations against Paul off, too, sending the hearing to questioning from other senators.
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