Lockdowns have caused enough damage to America and it is time for freedom to return to the land of the free, two Republican legislators said in pushing back against health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci’s opposition to reopening the nation.
In an Op-Ed written for USA Today, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona chided Fauci — the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — for his tunnel vision and ivory tower approach.
“As much as we respect Dr. Anthony Fauci’s service to our country and medical opinion, we disagree that his current positions on the virus outbreak provide the best path forward. Instead, discouraging states from reopening will only prolong a long-term public health and economic crisis,” they wrote.
Paul and Biggs said Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, has been wrong before.
“Fauci and company have relied on models that were later found to be deficient. He even has suggested that he can’t rely on any of the models, especially if the underlying assumptions are wrong. Yet, Fauci persists in advocating policies that have emasculated the medical care system and ruined the economy,” they wrote.
Fauci was taken to task for assuming positions “contrary to that of the administration he works for.”
“While President Donald Trump urged governors to safely open our country, Fauci testified to a Senate committee last week that opening too soon would ‘result in needless suffering and death,'” Paula and Biggs wrote.
But the lawmakers said “Fauci’s one-size-fits-all approach to public health” has produced “countless stories of needless suffering and death.”
Noting that the doctor dismissed the societal and economic complications of the current lockdowns as “inconvenient,” they bristled that Fauci has been “so understated when it comes to compassion for the people whose lives have been wrecked by his policies but so demonstrative when trying to scare the American people.”
Paul and Biggs said Fauci not only failed to consider the economic and societal impacts of his policies, but also failed to fully consider the full ramifications of his edicts on public health.
“We are seeing hospitals and medical groups having to close because they couldn’t treat patients. The very foundation of our medical care system has been rocked — not solely because of the virus, but also because of the response to the virus,” they wrote.
The lawmakers said Fauci does not understand the impact of what he has wrought.
“As a medical bureaucrat in far-away Washington, perhaps he cannot empathize with the millions of Americans who have already closed down their businesses or are poised to lose them and their life savings, and who have seen their retirement funds depleted as the economy soured,” they wrote. “Maybe he is simply oblivious to the health problems that inure when a person is one of more than 33 million Americans who have lost their job.”
“It isn’t just the economy that has been enervated,” Paul and Biggs wrote. “The foundation of the health care system has also been ruptured.”
Although they noted that Trump has never pushed “Fauci’s dogma,” they said governors echoed his principles in locking down their states. And as the resistance among the people of America has grown to the pressure of lockdowns, they said, Fauci is wrongly pushing back.
“And now that governors are trying to open up their communities, allow hospitals to determine whether they can provide elective surgeries, and trust the American people to exercise their freedom responsibly, Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx have attempted to scuttle the opening,” they wrote. Birx is one of the leaders of the White House coronavirus task force.
Paul and Biggs said the first principles at the root of the nation should be the first principles in guiding it out of lockdown.
“But the answer to America’s problems has rarely been the federal government. Our solutions have been in trusting the American people. Freedom allows us to judge the risk and reward and determine a course we think best,” the lawmakers wrote. “If we feel going to a certain retailer, barber shop, restaurant, or some other business is risky, we have the judgment to decide to not go there. If we want to stay home, we can.”
The Republicans said they reject any so-called experts setting limits to the freedom Americans enjoy.
“In the end, Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, and others seek to corral our freedom, just as the American people and many of our elected leaders are finding ways to open our society,” they wrote.
In the clashing of voices and opinions, Biggs and Paul said the optimism embodied by the president should win the day.
“President Trump has expressed a desire to restore our economic greatness and the positives that come with it — including better public health — by opening up our communities. We must forge ahead even as Fauci tries to brush away the optimism of the president and the American people,” they wrote.
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