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Fauci says Sen. Paul’s spreading of false COVID-19 information contributes to death threats

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  • Anthony Fauci
    Anthony Fauci
    American immunologist and head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

During testimony on Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sen. Rand Paul was making false accusations about him and COVID-19 to raise campaign money. Fauci also said that those allegations were leading to death threats against him.

Video transcript

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: The last time we had a committee, or the time before, he was accusing me of being responsible for the death of 4 to 5 million people, which is really irresponsible. And I say why is he doing that? There are two reasons why that's really bad. The first is it distracts from what we're all trying to do here today-- get our arms around the epidemic and the pandemic that we're dealing with, not something imaginary. Number two, what happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue is that all of a sudden, that kindles the crazies out there. And I have threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls, because people are lying about me.

Now, I guess you could say, well, that's the way it goes. I can take the hit. Well, it makes a difference. Because as some of you may know, just about three or four weeks ago, on December 21, a person was arrested who was on their way from Sacramento to Washington, DC, at a speed stop in Iowa. And they asked the police asked him where he was going. And he was going to Washington DC to kill Dr. Fauci. And they found in his car an AR-15 and multiple magazines of ammunition. Because he thinks that maybe I'm killing people.

So I ask myself, why would Senator want to do this? So go to Rand Paul website, and you see "Fire Dr. Fauci" with a little box that says, "Contribute here." You can do $5, $10, $20, $100. So you are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political gain. So the only thing that I can think of--

RAND PAUL: You have politically attacked your colleagues, and in a politically reprehensible way--

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: The only thing that I can think of--

RAND PAUL: --you've attacked their reputations.

- OK, we'll--

RAND PAUL: You won't defend it. You won't argue it

[GAVEL BANGING]

- I'm sorry, but we're going to--

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: You'll just simply turn around the attack.

- --continue this hearing. We have a number of questions from other senators.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Just one more minute, please, if my--

- Dr. Fauci, I really appreciate your response. But we do have a number of questions from senators, and we do have a second round, and I'm being asked to make sure that everybody has their time. So thank you.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Thank you very much for allowing me, Madame Chair.

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