Dr. Anthony Fauci and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is also a doctor, once again got into a heated exchange during Fauci’s testimony on Tuesday. Senator Paul focused on Fauci’s involvement in smearing doctors from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford who had differing opinions than his own.
“In an email exchange with Dr. [Francis] Collins, you conspire, and I quote here directly from the email, to ‘create a quick and devastating published takedown’ of three prominent epidemiologists from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford,” said Paul in reference to the recently retired National Institutes of Health director.
Fox News reports:
Paul went on to cite the email exchange, in which Collins was discussing the Great Barrington Declaration, which opposed large-scale lockdowns as a response to the pandemic in favor of “focused protection” and herd immunity.
In response, Fauci sent Collins articles from Wired and The Nation that had already slammed this position. While Fauci himself had not penned those pieces, Paul accused him of going along with Collins’ effort to smear the doctors behind the Great Barrington Declaration.
“Instead of engaging them on the merits, you and Dr. Collins sought to smear them as fringe and take them down, and not in journals in lay press. This is not only antithetical to the scientific method, it’s the epitome of cheap politics, and it’s reprehensible, Dr. Fauci.”
Fauci’s initial response was that the email was from Collins to him, not the other way around, but Paul noted that Fauci responded to it with agreement.
The NIAID director then accused Paul of “distorting everything about me,” which he said is Paul’s “usual fashion.”
Paul, who is also a doctor, went on to allege that this was not the only time that Fauci has “conspired” when it comes to messaging about the pandemic. He pointed to an article from Nature Medicine in 2020 from several doctors that went against the idea that COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan lab, despite the authors being part of a conference call days earlier in which the lab leak theory was discussed as a possibility.
That article, and Fauci’s communications with the authors, were noted in a letter sent earlier Tuesday morning from Reps. James Comer, R-Ky., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to Health and Human Services Director Xavier Becerra.
Fauci admitted that he spoke privately with scientists behind that article, but when Paul asked him about the substance of the conversation and whether they initially believed the virus came from a lab, Fauci changed the subject by accusing Paul of wasting time by going after him.
“You keep coming back to personal attacks on me that have absolutely no relevance to reality,” Fauci said.
Fauci then spoke of the effect the attacks have had on him and his family, stating that he has received “obscene phone calls” and “threats upon my life” all “because people are lying about me.”
He then recalled an incident when a person from Sacramento was arrested when they were stopped in Iowa and law enforcement discovered a rifle and ammunition.
“And they asked the police to ask him where he was going, and he was going to Washington, D.C., to kill Dr. Fauci,” Fauci said.
Fauci then took a shot at Paul, accusing him of carrying out and encouraging attacks on his character for political purposes. He showed a screenshot from Paul’s campaign website with a call to “Fire Dr. Fauci,” alongside links to donate to the campaign.
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Watchdog: Pentagon likely rushed denials of COVID-19 vaccine Religious Exemption requests
The Army only approved just 24 religious COVID-19 vaccine exemption requests out of a total 8,514 requests submitted by active duty soldiers, and 1,602 requests have been rejected while the rest remain pending.
Military.com obtained information showing the Pentagon rushed vaccine exemption denials:
Sean O’Donnell, the Pentagon’s inspector general, wrote in a June 2 memo to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin obtained by Military.com calling attention to a “concerning” trend in which military brass rushed to reject vaccine-exemption petitions rather than giving each request due consideration.
“We found a trend of generalized assessments rather than the individualized assessment that is required by Federal law and DoD and Military Service policies,” he said. “Some of the appellate decisions included documentation that demonstrated a greater consideration of facts and circumstances involved in a request.”
In March, a Texas judge blocked the Navy from dismissing sailors with pending exemption requests and in August, a Florida federal judge ordered class action relief and granted an injunction barring the federal government from enforcing the vaccine mandate for the Marine Corps.
National Review writes, “For the last year, military has been struggling with a recruitment problem. As of July, with only three months left in the fiscal year, the Army had met only 40 percent of its recruitment goal and reduced its active-duty force by 12,000 troops.”
O’Donnell calculated that officials likely gave each appeal a cursory glance rather than a thorough examination, possibly opening the door to litigation from service members who had to resign after they failed to obtain exemptions. Across all the branches, there were about 50 denials per day in a 90-day period, he determined. Over a thousand Coast Guardsmen have already tried to launch a class-action lawsuit in response to their being refused religious exemptions, the publication noted.
“The volume and rate at which decisions were made to deny requests is concerning,” the memo read. “Assuming a 10-hour work day with no breaks or attention to other matters, the average review period was about 12 minutes for each package. Such a review period seems insufficient to process each request in an individualized manner and still perform the duties required of their position.”
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