Senator Rand Paul came out swinging last Friday when he announced new measures against the controversial public health director, Dr. Anthony Fauci. These measures are contingent upon the Republicans taking back the Senate in 2022 — something the Republicans are very much equipped to do.
Dr. Fauci is the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden. As with the President, opinions on Anthony Fauci are split along predictable lines. Fauci has been dogged by the right and praised by the left. Nevertheless, criticisms of Dr. Fauci are not necessarily criticisms of science or the scientific method, and it would be good for the media to admit as such.
Many criticize Dr. Fauci because they believe a single issue does not decide the full range of public policy. Dr. Fauci’s domain of expertise, public health, is undoubtedly influential and should influence public policy. Public health is not, however, determinative over all areas of life. It is one concern among many.
Still, others attack Fauci for his work as the public face of the fight against the COVID-19 virus. Dr. Fauci has coronated his person as “science.” Resultantly, all attacks on the good doctor are attacks on the scientific enterprise itself — a hilariously unprofessional move from the face of public health. His suggestions on mandates have been unhelpful and misleading. Fauci has not been a consistently good soldier in the fight against COVID-19, and his language on the virus has helped stir up public distrust. One can accept all of these points while praising the vaccine, which Fauci has pushed prolifically in all outlets available to humankind.
More importantly, there are legitimate questions about the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) alleged funding of gain of function research in Wuhan, China — the origin point of the COVID-19 virus. Dr. Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), would likely have some role in this funding. If this is true, America — indeed, the entire world — deserves an answer. The COVID-19 virus has killed millions worldwide and wrecked the global economy. A serious inquiry into COVID origins is the least we could offer to the millions who have lost their lives and livelihoods due to the virus.
Senator Paul is one of those pushing for answers. Paul expresses skepticism over the natural origin of COVID-19. The Senator is a proponent of the “lab leak” theory of COVID origins. He believes Dr. Fauci has been dishonest on the question of lab funding, purposefully misleading the American public. This charge of dishonesty has produced some memorable encounters between the two men. Paul has leveraged his attacks into a political strategy and has promised to employ this strategy to the advantage of the Republican Party, assuming they take back the Senate in 2022.
Lisa Boothe recently brought Senator Paul on her podcast. The relevant section begins at 18:18. When asked about Fauci, Paul said the following:
“[Fauci] is trying to avoid culpability… He was funding risky and dangerous research…He will do everything possible… to make sure the truth will never come out… It is important that we do not let another virus leak out of a lab… That is why, if we win in November, if I’m chairman of a committee, if I have subpoena power, we’ll go after every one of his [Dr. Fauci’s] records. Those scientists will all come in. We will have an investigator go through this piece by piece because we do not need this to happen again.”
Harsh words for Dr. Fauci and an even more significant promise. We will see if Paul and the Republicans follow through on their commitment.