As Dr. Anthony Fauci retires from his multiple public health positions, including as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, congressional Republicans have a message for him. He will still be held accountable for possible false statements about the origins of COVID-19.
Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the House Oversight ranking member, said this week that retirement will not in any way block congressional scrutiny. And medical rival Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said stepping down does not prevent a “full-throated investigation.”
Paul could potentially be the next chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He and Fauci have squared off multiple times over COVID policies. But there’s more than just lockdowns and masking.
Congressional GOP members want to know what Fauci knows about the lab leak theory. Also coming into question will be several statements about gain-of-function research early on in the pandemic that appear now to be false.
It was last October when the National Institutes of Health finally admitted that it had funded gain-of-function research at the Chinese Wuhan lab. Dr. Fauci repeatedly told Congress that it had never happened.
Congressional Democrats have not held a single hearing into Fauci’s handling of a pandemic that killed over a million Americans. That, as the doctor knows, is subject to change pending the outcome of November’s midterms.
Dems refused to hold a single hearing on COVID origins and gain-of-function funding.
That changes when we take the majority.
Good thing Fauci will now have lots of time to testify about what he knew about the Wuhan lab and his bad guidance that kept schools/businesses closed.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) August 22, 2022
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) notes that retirement for Dr. Fauci will give him plenty more time to testify under oath about controversial decisions and statements concerning COVID-19.
For his part, Fauci said his decision to retire goes back over a year and has nothing to do with investigations or the GOP likely regaining the House majority. He asserts, “I have nothing to hide and I can defend everything I’ve done.”
He said that the possibility of being investigated does not “phase or bother me.”
Perhaps it does not. But a day of reckoning is coming, and there are many questions concerning the pandemic that deserve forthright answers given under oath. For Dr. Fauci, even in retirement, 2023 could be a quite busy year.