I want a mask like that.

When Dr. Anthony Fauci testified before the House Coronavirus Crisis Subcommittee today, Rep Jim Jordan (R-Fox News) wanted some damn specifics about when Fauci would let Americans have their freedom back, because Jim Jordan has made pretty good political hay of the very same goddamn talking points for nearly a year now. But Jordan's colleagues, and Dr. Fauci, seem noticeably less tolerant of Jordan's stupid freedombabble these days, and today, first Fauci and then subcommittee chair Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina) and finally Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) said as much to the obstreperous little stinkbug from Ohio. It was pretty awesome, really!


Jordan yelled at Fauci for failing to set a clear date for the pandemic to end. After all, if Joe Biden can specify when US troops will leave Afghanistan, then why won't Fauci tell Americans the precise day a wave of infectious disease will be gone?


Fauci, to his credit, rejected Jordan's framing entirely:

Jordan: Dr. Fauci, when is the time? [long pause as if that question made any damn sense] When is the time? [Shorter pause, then the brilliant payoff] In your written statement, you said, "Now is not the time to pull back on masking, physical distancing, and avoiding congregate settings." When is the time? When do Americans get their freedom back?

Fauci explained to the congressman who seemed not to have a watch that it would all depend on when rates of infection are low enough that people are at less risk of spreading the virus, but Jordan wanted specifics: "Give me a number!" After all, a whole year ago, the 15 days of initial social distancing and business closures didn't do the job, and now we have no freedom left. Jordan certainly was not about to let Fauci get away with vague statements like "no longer a threat," because wouldn't a real scientist would be able to give a precise number of some kind? (No. Not really. We're still learning about the virus, which keeps evolving and refuses to agree to anyone's schedule.)

Fauci finally had quite enough of the badgering, and said that infectious diseases tend not to respect talking points, either. (Some dialogue below paraphrased, as indicated by it's coming from Jordan's yap-hole)

Fauci: You're indicating liberty and freedom. I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to the hospital.

Jordan: You don't think Americans' liberties have been threatened? Bibble bobble freedom, religion, hoopsa boyaboy Flagfreedom!

Fauci: I don't look at this as a liberty thing, Congressman Jordan —

Jordan: Well duhh, tyrant! I win and am very smart!

Fauci: — I see it as a public health thing. I disagree with you —

Jordan: Constitution! First Amendment! Church! Assaulted! Assaulted!

Jordan went on bloviating for a while about what a mean tyrant Fauci was, and how he was personally responsible for YouTube taking down bullshit anti-mask videos that Fauci had no idea what Jordan was talking about, or at least that's what Fauci pretended although he is secretly making all the decisions at YouTube these days, except for the ones made by Joe Biden which forced Larry Klayman to sue him. At the suggestion that YouTube is pulling videos "because they dare to disagree with Dr. Fauci," the good doctor said Oh Knock It Off before Jordan could go Full Belushi and fall off his chair in apoplexy: "I think you're making this a personal thing, and it isn't."

"It's not a personal thing!" Jordan replied, but Fauci was pissed. "You are. That is exactly what you're doing."

Fauci then explained that he certainly wasn't out to step on anyone's freedoms, and that he didn't make up recommendations based on his own anti-liberty whims. Rather, he said, everything he said was based on the CDC's anti-liberty whims. Or not that, really: "We're not talking about liberties. We're talking about a pandemic that has killed 560,000 Americans."

Yeah, Jordan shot back, that's sad, but what about the liberties, because wouldn't freedom to spread the virus just be better? He insisted on getting a definite time when Fauci would let freedom come back, and then he was out of time. At least officially.

Also, this seems like a pretty good place to mention that while Fauci and the CDC can set guidelines, actual decisions about safety measures are up to state and local officials. (Then again, maybe Fauci controls them just like he does YouTube.)

Clyburn, clearly tired of Jordan, said that for a start, it would be useful if 90 percent of members of Congress got the vaccine, but that set Jordan to yelling at Fauci again, because he's the doctor, and when, sir, when is it the time? Also, what's the frequency?

Finally, Maxine Waters spoke for most of America, admonishing Jordan, "Your time has expired, sir! You need to respect the chair, and shut your mouth!"

And lo, there was rejoicing.

OPEN THREAD!

[Aaron Rupar on Twitter / Forbes]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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