OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former top immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, who became the face of the COVID pandemic for nearly three years before retiring at the end of 2022, made some startling admissions during closed-door testimony before a House committee last week, likely adding fuel to efforts led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders to hold him accountable.
The Federalist reported on Friday that “the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases faced tough questions from the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, and his answers confirmed many of the worst fears of those in the medical community who spoke out during his reign of terror.”
The outlet noted further that although Fauci’s 14 hours’ worth of testimony took place in private, “the subcommittee provided an overview of the most salient points” while also promising to make a full transcript of his remarks public soon.
That said, the committee highlighted three of the most notable statements as well as how they should be addressed in the future.
“First, Fauci admitted that Covid-19 policies were not grounded in science, confessing that the six feet of social distancing, ‘sort of just appeared.’ Anyone who was ordered to stand an arbitrary distance apart on a jet bridge only to be packed into a plane face to jowl had reached this commonsense conclusion long ago,” The Federalist reported.
Nevertheless, it was a big reversal for Fauci, who repeatedly assured Americans during the pandemic that he was “following the science,” the report noted further, adding that the admission was also reminiscent of his “walk back” on the efficacy of wearing masks earlier this year.
“During his congressional testimony, Fauci finally conceded that Covid vaccine mandates could make people more broadly vaccine-hesitant,” The Federalist noted further, bringing up the second major admission. “Using the levers of government to force citizens to take an untested vaccine rushed to market under the banner of ‘warp speed’ was never a wise idea. Accusing dissenters of ‘spreading misinformation’ and subjecting them to loss of livelihood and mass ridicule compounded the error.”
The Federalist also noted:
Lastly, Fauci still refuses to accept accountability for his mistakes. He said he’s still “not convinced” lockdowns hurt kids, despite children suffering an “unprecedented drop in performance” in math and reading scores. According to the federal government, reading test scores among nine-year-olds fell to their lowest point in 30 years, while math scores fell for the first time ever. No one expects perfection from their leaders, but the stubborn refusal to look in the mirror and take responsibility is more than just arrogant — it’s harmful for the ability to fix the problem.
A growing number of House Republicans are building a case against the country’s former top infectious disease expert for allegedly misleading Congress on several occasions.
“So, specifically before your committee and also before Rand Paul over in the Senate, Dr. Fauci has, of course, absolved himself of all funding of gain-of-function,” conservative podcaster Benny Johnson said in an interview with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan. “He said he didn’t know anything about it. It is verifiable and demonstrable that he lied. Now, there are codes in Congress. I have a code right here, 18 U.S. Code 1001.”
“Statements—false statements to Congress,” Johnson noted. “Says you can be imprisoned; says you can be imprisoned for eight years if you lie to Congress. It seems like there has never been a more clear-cut case of some individual lying to Congress.”
“Yeah, we can do it—there could be a referral, but you would refer to the Biden Justice Department,” Jordan replied. “I don’t know that — they’re going to pursue that, but you can do that. You could have one of the committees, and the Senate Judiciary Committee could make a referral. I doubt they will with the Democrats in charge.”
“We could do a referral potentially,” the Ohio Republican continued. “I would, frankly, prefer just to have Dr. Fauci come back in and take another round of questions here, but we’re building the case. You know, like, we had Dr. Redfield testify, and Chairman Wenstrup did. I thought he was—I thought he was great. As were the other witnesses that were brought in.”