Douglas Andrews / March 17, 2022

Fauci Fears Accountability

Mr. Science himself is preemptively decrying a possible Republican-led COVID investigation.

Two years into a pandemic that has taken nearly a million American lives, we still don’t have a satisfying record of events — at least not from our government. Where did COVID-19 come from? Why haven’t we held China accountable for its cover-up and its lack of transparency? Was our own government funding dangerous gain-of-function research at that Wuhan lab? Why did our government respond as it did regarding lockdowns, masking, vaccinations, mandates, economic aid, and the like?

And at the center of all this: What role did Anthony Fauci, ostensibly our nation’s foremost infectious disease expert, play in all this?

Lawmakers seem to understand this, and interest in a full-blown investigation, similar to the scope of the 9/11 commission, is gaining momentum. As The Washington Post reports:

A Senate panel voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to establish an independent task force to probe the U.S. response to the pandemic — the closest lawmakers have come to supporting such an investigation, two years into the crisis.

The vote on that bipartisan legislation, part of the Prevent Pandemics Act advanced by the Senate’s health committee, is the first step in a fraught political journey, and comes as Democrats and Republicans have pursued their own probes, seeking to shape public perceptions ahead of midterm elections that could alter the balance of power in Washington.

To this point, oversight activities have been grossly partisan, with Nancy Pelosi’s Trump-obsessed House panel leading the way. Individual Republicans, though, like Senators Rand Paul and Roger Marshall, have consistently asked difficult questions. And if the GOP is successful in retaking control of Congress in November, we might finally begin to get some answers, codify some lessons learned, and hold some folks accountable. And that, we believe, is what most worries Anthony Fauci.

Fauci, long the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the face of our nation’s pandemic response, has been all but invisible lately. After many months of having hogged the spotlight, the masked man is now nowhere to be found. Why? After all, as he infamously said last November, “A lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me quite frankly are attacks on science.”

Despite this decree from Science Himself, we think our Thomas Gallatin was spot-on last week when he surmised that the political science has since changed, and the Democrats have all but exiled this one-time media darling.

Perhaps sensing this, and perhaps sensing a Democrat shellacking in November, Fauci popped up briefly to preemptively decry a Republican-led COVID-19 investigation. “It’s Benghazi hearings all over again,” he said, referring to the GOP-led investigations of Hillary Clinton’s malfeasance during the deadly 2012 attacks on U.S. compounds in Libya. “They’ll try to beat me up in public, and there’ll be nothing there. But it will distract me from doing my job, the way it’s doing right now.”

And folks wonder why we can’t stand smug Beltway bureaucrats. “Fauci is not a doctor,” said columnist Jim Treacher. “He’s a politician.”

Indeed he is, and we’re long past time for setting the record straight. But if Republicans have their sights set on Fauci, they’ll have to take a number behind Rand Paul. The Kentucky senator and Duke School of Medicine graduate has been an unrelenting thorn in the tiny technocrat’s side, and he looks forward to dialing up the intensity. “If we take over the Senate next year,” he said in December, “I’ll be chairman of the health committee, and I pledge to use the subpoena power to get every last record about the origin of the virus, about Fauci.”

Paul even introduced Senate legislation on Monday to eliminate Fauci’s job as director of the NIAID by splitting the organization into three separate entities. Six RINOs voted against it.

Undeterred, and citing the Bad Doctor’s role in pushing “ineffective, unscientific lockdowns and mandates,” Paul spelled it out: “We’ve learned a lot over the past two years, but one lesson in particular is that no one person should be deemed ‘dictator in chief.’ No one person should have unilateral authority to make decisions for millions of Americans.”

November 8 can’t come soon enough.

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