By Jack Phillips
Several Republican lawmakers signaled they are planning to target White House COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci in investigations if the GOP secures at least one chamber in the 2022 midterms.
“One way or another, if we are in the majority, we will subpoena his records and he will testify in the Senate under oath,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who could become the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee chairman if Republicans win, told The Hill in a July 25 report.
After Fauci clarified comments last week that he won’t retire soon, Paul wrote on Twitter that Fauci will likely have to testify under oath in Congress.
“I look forward to ascertaining Fauci’s involvement in the cover-up of the lab origins of COVID — Under Oath!” he wrote in response on July 19 to Fauci’s statement that he is “not going to retire.”
“If Republicans take charge of the House or the Senate or both, he will have to testify under oath because a million Americans died,” Paul told Fox News on July 20. “And we want to know about was there a cover-up in trying to suppress any link to the lab in China? I do fully believe this virus … leaked from the lab.”
As he mulled stepping down from his position in a Politico interview last week, Fauci noted that he will likely face investigations in 2022.
“I don’t make that a consideration in my career decision,” he said of the possible investigations, adding that he will defend his record of recommending masking, lockdowns, and vaccines. “My telling somebody that it’s important to follow fundamental good public health practices … what are you going to investigate about that?” he said.
Paul and Fauci have sparred multiple times during public congressional panels, namely on whether Fauci’s agency provided funding to third-party groups to carry out controversial gain-of-function research into bat coronaviruses.
Fauci said in an interview that aired on July 23 that he is open to the possibility that COVID-19 leaked from a Wuhan, China, laboratory in late 2019. For years now, he’s asserted that the virus has a natural origin.
“We have an open mind but it looks very much like this was a natural occurrence, but you keep an open mind,” he said.
A career government official, Fauci has headed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. He became a household figure amid the COVID-19 pandemic as he essentially became the face of the federal response to the virus starting in early 2020.
While he’s been near-universally praised by Democrats and legacy media outlets, Republicans say that he’s pushed for damaging policies, including vaccine mandates, mask requirements, and lockdowns, while also frequently making grim predictions around the virus.
“But I think there was a concerted effort by him and his colleagues to cover this up and make sure it didn’t come to light, that the National Institute of Health was funding that lab and that there was reasonable scientific evidence that suggests that it came from the lab. So he’s going to be made to testify under oath. And I hope he sticks around because we do have some questions,” Paul told Fox News.
In the House, which many analysts say is likely to swing to Republicans in 2022, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told The Hill that there are no limits on what he wants to investigate about Fauci and his agency. If Republicans take over, Jordan is in line to chair the House Judiciary Committee.
“They knew from the get-go COVID-19 came from the lab, likely came from a lab, gain-of-function likely done, and our tax dollars were used,” Jordan told Just The News earlier this year.
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