Thirty-eight years after he assumed leadership of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases — and two years and 10 months into his reign as arguably the single most powerful unelected official in the United States since World War II — Dr. Anthony Fauci is hanging up his bureaucratic boots. As he said he would, the president’s chief medical adviser is stepping down this December.
Just think: No more flip-flopping on whether we need to wear a mask today. No more correcting the president on whether the pandemic is over or not — even though the pandemic has been over for almost every American for some time now.
Santa Claus will be coming to town this year, Dr. Anthony Fauci says.
“I took care of that for you,” he says. “…I took a trip up there to the North Pole; I went there and I vaccinated Santa Claus myself. I measured his level of immunity, and he is good to go.” #CNNSesameStreet pic.twitter.com/CNJ520XTew
— CNN (@CNN) December 19, 2020
What’ll we ever do without him?
Well, never fear, America: This likely isn’t the last you’ll hear of Anthony Fauci. Only, he’ll neither be the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden or the enforcer of the North Pole’s vaccine mandate. Instead, he will likely be a target of GOP investigations into his time as what amounted to the country’s COVID czar when the Republicans take over the House come January.
And, wouldn’t you know it, the White House doesn’t want Fauci answering questions about that, as evinced by his final media briefing at the White House on Tuesday.
Fauci had just given a long answer about “counter[ing] misinformation and disinformation” by doing “whatever you can as often as you can to provide correct information.”
“The people who have correct information, who take science seriously, who don’t have strange, way-out theories about things but who base what they say on evidence and data need to speak up more, because the other side that just keeps putting out misinformation and disinformation seems to be tireless in that effort,” Fauci said, according to the White House transcript. “And it’s going to be very difficult.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was very happy to let him ramble on about that. After all, there’s nothing the White House likes talking about more than “misinformation and disinformation,” which is essentially defined as anything that doesn’t agree with President Joe Biden’s positions.
Then: “Dr. Fauci, related to that, how are you preparing for the likely aggressive oversight from House Republicans, the new majority, next year that they’ve been promising on some of these very questions?”
KJP was, um, somewhat less willing to let Fauci take this question:
Dr. Anthony Fauci: “If there are oversight hearings, I absolutely will cooperate fully and testify before the Congress.” pic.twitter.com/9sZt2X20P2
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 22, 2022
Whoa, geez! Look at the time! It’s half-past-we-don’t-want-Fauci-to-answer-those-sorts-of-questions! To his credit, Fauci answered the question: “If there are oversight hearings, I absolutely will cooperate fully and testify before the Congress.”
“You may not know, but I’ve testified before the Congress a few hundred times, OK, over the last 40 years or so, so I have no trouble testifying,” he continued. “We can defend and explain and stand by everything that we’ve said, so I have nothing to hide.”
At this point, Jean-Pierre turned the stage over to COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha, and Fauci exited stage left, not to be seen until the Republicans call him before Congress.
And make no mistake, Fauci will likely get called. Between his flip-flopping on masks (and admitting he lied about whether he thought they could mitigate COVID spread) to whether or not he knew about so-called “gain of function” research being done with U.S. tax dollars on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (and insisting he didn’t lie to Congress when he said no such research had occurred), he’s got a lot to answer for.
Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul, arguably Fauci’s most outspoken critic in Congress, promised investigations would happen if the GOP took control after the November midterms in an August tweet.
So Dr. Fauci is stepping down in December.
That won’t stop a Republican Congress from telling the truth about his disastrous tenure and holding him accountable for the mistakes he made and the lies he told.
— Rep. Darrell Issa (@repdarrellissa) August 22, 2022
While the “red wave” didn’t necessarily happen and the Senate will remain in Democrat hands, the GOP has control of the House, meaning they have the power to investigate Fauci. Don’t think they’ll pass it up.
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