During a Thursday afternoon White House press briefing, one reporter broke away from asking about the current state of the virus and vaccines and instead got rather chummy with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to the President in President Joe Biden‘s administration, asking him “how free” Fauci feels now that he doesn’t work for former President Donald Trump. Fauci replied, saying it’s “somewhat of a liberating feeling.”
“You joked a couple times today already about the difference […] that you feel in being kind of the spokesperson for this issue in this administration versus the previous one. Can you talk a little bit about how free, how much different, do you feel less constrained?” the reporter asked Fauci, then interrupting himself to find his words.
“For so many times, you stood up behind the podium with Donald Trump standing behind you—that was a different feeling, I’m sure, than it is today,” the reporter continued. “Can you talk a little bit about how you feel kind of released from what you had been doing for the last year?”
“You said that I was joking about it. I was very serious,” Fauci replied, then letting out a laugh and the reporter started laughing too.
After the laughter died down, Fauci said that it “was very clear that there were things that were said, be it regarding things like hydroxychloroquine and other things like that—that really was uncomfortable because they were not based on scientific fact.”
“I can tell you I take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of contradicting the president and so it was really something that you didn’t feel that you could actually say something and there wouldn’t be any repercussions about it. The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, what the evidence [is], what the science is and know that’s it—let the science speak. It is somewhat a liberating feeling.”
Before the reporter’s time with Fauci ran out, he asked the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases one more question.
“You were basically banished for a few months there for a while. Do you feel like you’re back now?” he asked.
Fauci chuckled and replied: “I think so.” The room then broke out into laughter.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar kicked off House Foreign Affairs Committee
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar was voted off the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday. The action was expected, as Republican members of Congress had criticized Omar’s antisemetic and anti-American rhetoric.
After intense debating on the House floor, the resolution passed with a 218-211 vote. Democrats attempted to pull the race card, accusing Republican House members of racism for removing Omar from the committee.
Omar also accused House Republicans of racism, saying, “I am Muslim, I am an immigrant, and interestingly, from Africa…Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy, or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced?”
“There is this idea that you are a suspect if you are an immigrant or if you are from certain parts of the world or certain skin tone or a muslim.” Omar said during the heated debate. A fiery Alexandria Ocasia Cortez also chimed in shouting, “This is an attack on women of color!”
Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, from New York, said she had personally witnessed Omar spew anti-American rhetoric. Malliotakis said, “I have been in that committee room where, the representative, equates Israel and the United States to Hamas and the Taliban. Absolutely unacceptable for a member of that committee.”
A four-page resolution was written for the justification of removing Omar from the house Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution states that in 2019, Omar suggested that Jewish people were buying U.S. political support when she posted on Twitter, “it’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”
Omar also commented on the September 11th attacks saying, “some people did something.” This type of comment is unacceptable for any representative who is sitting on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lawmakers said.
In the resolution it states that members of this committee should all be held to an “equal standard of conduct due to the international sensitivities and national security concerns under the jurisdiction of this committee.”
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