Let’s All Cherish The Moment When Dr. Fauci Mocked GOP Seditionist Ted Cruz On National TV
Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on "Face the Nation" Sunday, and with the news about the Omicron variant, the timing couldn’t be better to hear from an infectious disease expert instead of some drooling anti-vaxxer.
Here’s the full interview, which you should watch so you can remain informed.
Dr. Fauci confronted the political divisiveness in this country that has jeopardized public health. A uniform national response to COVID-19 was difficult enough considering America’s federalist system of government, but elected Republicans made a conscious choice to reject any sense of cooperation and shared sacrifice.
DR. FAUCI: [The] divisiveness in this country to me is the biggest mistake that supersedes everything that we're talking about, supersedes the mask situation, supersedes everything, have a public health catastrophe and you have divisiveness that is pulling away from doing the right thing to get the outbreak under control. I mean, when we look back historically and look back at this and said we had this devastating plague out there that were killing hundreds of thousands of Americans, and we're having public health principles being decided on the basis of political ideology. I mean, when I give my history of it, that's going to be the number one mistake that supersedes all the other things that we're talking about.
Dr. Fauci himself has become a symbol of this division, as Republicans have done a bang-up job demonizing him over the past two years. A good example of their handiwork is 619DW Guns and Ammo, which bills itself as New Hampshire’s “friendliest" Gun Shop. Its storefront is plastered with defaced photos of Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and Dr. Fauci, whose image bears what looks like a Hitler mustache. His poster reads “FAUCISM,” because promoting public health makes you Hitler.
This is the gun shop in my parents town. Don\u2019t fucking tell me this isn\u2019t a call to violence. Don\u2019t tell me gun culture isn\u2019t sick to its very core. #NoRA #MerrimackNH #NHPoliticspic.twitter.com/W02DbqHQ6J— Ben Jackson (@Ben Jackson) 1638101811
Dr. Fauci probably never imagined becoming a rightwing punching bag at 80, especially after deliberately staying out of politics, but he can’t escape the shameless politicization of a global pandemic. However, Dr. Fauci insisted that despite the political theatre, he’s never considered resigning. He dismissed Senator Rand Paul’s fact-free rants during congressional hearings as mere “noise” that won’t stop him from doing his job.
Then there was this wonderful moment when Dr. Fauci laughed derisively at GOP Senator Ted Cruz:
Dr. Fauci when asked on Face the Nation about @tedcruz claiming he should be prosecuted: *laughing* \u201cI have to just laugh at that. *I* should be prosecuted? What happened on January 6th senator?\u201d\n\nIn case there weren\u2019t enough reasons to love this man.pic.twitter.com/r9I6HjDGLq— Andrew Wortman \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08 (@Andrew Wortman \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08) 1638139869
MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator Cruz told the attorney general you should be prosecuted.
DR. FAUCI: Yeah. I have to laugh at that. I should be prosecuted? What happened on Jan. 6, senator?
Yes, Cruz is a cowardly seditionist who enabled Donald Trump’s Big Lie -- the very Big Lie that led directly to the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Today, Cruz tweeted that Dr. Fauci is "an unelected technocrat who has distorted science and facts in order to exercise authoritarian control over millions of Americans,” but that’s all blather. He has no moral grounds to judge anyone, least of all Dr. Fauci.
Dr. Fauci said you’d have to be “asleep” not to realize that Republicans want to scapegoat him as deflection from Trump’s own malicious incompetence. Still, he plans to keep doing his job: "I'm going to be saving lives and they're going to be lying.” Nothing sums up the GOP so succinctly. The Democrats should use this as their midterm mantra.
DR. FAUCI: I mean, anybody who's looking at this carefully realizes that there's a distinct anti-science flavor to this. So if they get up and criticize science, nobody's going to know what they're talking about. But if they get up and really aim their bullets at Tony Fauci, well, people could recognize there's a person there. There's a face, there's a voice you can recognize, you see him on television. So it's easy to criticize, but they're really criticizing science because I represent science. That's dangerous.
Rand Paul reacted with predictable outrage, implying that Dr. Fauci claimed he was the god of science.
The absolute hubris of someone claiming THEY represent science. It\u2019s astounding and alarming that a public health bureaucrat would even think to claim such a thing, especially one who has worked so hard to ignore the science of natural immunity.https://twitter.com/facethenation/status/1465003501541597191\u00a0\u2026— Senator Rand Paul (@Senator Rand Paul) 1638122130
Dr. Fauci probably doesn’t have to work hard to ignore Senator Mall Optometrist’s bogus science claims.
We’re not done with this pandemic yet because people like Cruz and Paul won’t stop spreading disinformation for their own political ends.
In related news, President Biden is scheduled to speak on the new Omicron variant in just a few minutes, if you'd like to watch here:
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."