Rep. Jim Jordan and Dr. Anthony Fauci got into a heated exchange over how pandemic lockdowns and restrictions have “assaulted … liberty and freedoms” over the last year.
“Are we just going to continue this forever? … What measure, what standard, what objective outcome do we have to reach before, before Americans get their liberty and freedoms back?” Jordan asked Fauci on Thursday during a House hearing on the pandemic.
“You’re indicating liberty and freedom. I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying,” Fauci responded.
“You don’t think Americans’ liberties have been threatened in the last year, Dr. Fauci?” Jordan asked.
“I don’t look at this as a liberty thing … I look at this as a public health thing,” Fauci said.
“Well, that’s obvious,” Jordan shot back.
“You think the Constitution is suspended during a virus, during a pandemic?” Jordan asked.
“This will end for sure when we get the level of infection very low. It is now at such a high level, there’s a threat again,” Fauci said.
“Dr. Fauci, over the last year, Americans’ First Amendment rights have been completely attacked. Your right to go to church, your right to assemble, your right to petition your government, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, have all been assaulted,” Jordan added.
.@Jim_Jordan: "You don't think Americans' liberties have been threatened the last year, Dr. Fauci?"
Fauci: "I don't look at this as a liberty thing… I look at this as a public health thing."
Jordan: "You think the Constitution is suspended during a virus, during a pandemic?" pic.twitter.com/A4lRuFFCPM
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) April 15, 2021
The exchange comes after a handful of Republican lawmakers have slammed Fauci for his handling of the pandemic, most notably Sen. Rand Paul.
“Dr. Fauci should be voluntarily removed from TV because what he says is such a disservice and such fearmongering and almost all of what he says isn’t even matched by the science of his own institute,” Paul, who is also a doctor, said on Fox Business Tuesday.
Last month, Paul and Fauci had a heated exchange during a Senate hearing over coronavirus restrictions, with Paul accusing Fauci of performing theater by wearing two masks.
“If we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater?” he asked Fauci during a Senate hearing. “If you’ve had the vaccine and you’re wearing two masks, isn’t that theater?”
“Let me just state for the record that masks are not theater. Masks are protective,” he added, which is supported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
Source: Washington Examiner : Jordan and Fauci get into fiery back and forth over how lockdowns have ‘assaulted’ liberty and freedoms