GOP Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) accused Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday of “lying to the American people” about herd immunity for COVID-19 “in order to manipulate their behavior,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Rubio’s comments came after Fauci — a top White House coronavirus adviser who has heralded by many in the media and on the left as the end-all, be-all when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic — admitted to The New York Times that he had “slowly but deliberately been moving the goal posts” on what percentage of the U.S. population would need to be immune to COVID-19, either from prior infection or vaccination, to warrant a return to normalcy.
The Times reported Christmas Eve:
In the pandemic’s early days, Dr. Fauci tended to cite the same 60 to 70 percent estimate that most experts did. About a month ago, he began saying “70, 75 percent” in television interviews. And last week, in an interview with CNBC News, he said “75, 80, 85 percent” and “75 to 80-plus percent.”
“Let’s be clear”
According to the Times, Fauci said his changing figures are “partly based on new science, and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.” But in the eyes of Rubio, the doctor should have been spouting out the real numbers all along.
The senator charged in an op-ed for Fox News that Fauci “selectively lied to the American public about the coronavirus and what was needed for our national recovery.”
“I am sure that Dr. Fauci — the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — made the decision to mislead with nothing but good intentions,” Rubio wrote, according to the Washington Examiner. “However, let’s be clear about what he was doing: lying to the American people in order to manipulate their behavior.”
“Passing the buck”
Rubio said Americans deserve accountability and transparency not only from elected officials, but also from unelected bureaucrats who make up much of the federal government.
“When elected representatives make decisions, they can be held responsible by the public. But when public health officials with decades of experience and leadership within our nation’s institutions short-circuit the political process and make these decisions themselves, they deny the American people that same opportunity — and to change course if desired,” the Florida senator wrote for Fox.
“Passing the buck to unelected technocrats avoids accountability and means falling back on two fallacies: first, that science gives us a straightforward playbook for answering questions facing decision-makers; and, second, that those technocrats are the only legitimate interpreters of the facts,” Rubio added. “As the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear, things are never so clear-cut.”
“Appalled by his arrogance”
Fauci has since doubled down on his position, according to the Washington Examiner, telling CNN Sunday that “we have to realize that we have to be humble and realize what we don’t know.” According to Rubio, however, “placing blind faith in unelected celebrity scientists…has its limits.”
“I do not question Dr. Fauci’s motives — I trust they are noble — but I am appalled by his arrogance,” the senator declared in his Wednesday op-ed.
“If he wants to lead the nation, he should run for office,” Rubio said of Fauci. “Otherwise, he should give us an honest and transparent reading of the science, not polling data, and let the rest of us — policymakers and the American people who have elected them — do our jobs.”