In a second fiery exchange for Representative Jim Jordan this week, the lawmaker put Dr. Fauci on the spot over the coronavirus response.
Jordan asked Fauci, “So you’re allowed to protest, millions of people, on one day, in crowds, yelling, screaming, but you try to run a business and you get arrested? And if you stood outside that same business and protested you wouldn’t get arrested? You don’t see any inconsistency there?”
Fauci seemed flustered by the question, and said, “I don’t understand what you’re asking me as a public health official.”
Jordan then pointed out that Fauci has made suggestions on who should be allowed to be open, and who had to close. He told the doctor, “You’ve advocated for certain businesses to be shut down, I’m just asking you your position on the protests.” He asked if the protests spread the virus. Fauci, however, did not want to give a yes or no answer, so he responded, “I don’t have any scientific evidence I can tell you. Crowds are known, specifically when you don’t have a mask, to increase the acquisition and transmission no matter what the crowd is.”
While Jordan pushed harder, asking again about the large crowds that gathered for the protests and what the effects of these crowds were. But before Fauci could response, Congressman Clyburn cut in, and clarified for Fauci that any crowd gathering was a risk, despite the purpose. After being given the green light, Fauci continued that any crowd is a risk, but made sure to say that this comment was not a “judgement” on the crowd.
Why this matters: Just today, President Trump had to clarify the risk to our electoral process if states mandate mail-in voting. Democrat lawmakers, in particular, are saying it is unsafe for people to go to the voting booth. But for many Americans who have watched since the beginning of June thousands gather together, often without masks, to protest George Floyd’s death, this message is purely hypocritical. Jordan, in particular, pointed out that Fauci has given his opinion often on a number of private sector matters, but has failed to do so about the protests. As Americans want to return to their normal daily lives, it feels like politicians are using the virus for their own purposes, instead of the good of the American people.
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