National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the Republicans like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) criticizing him were “lying” while he is “saving lives.”
Partial transcript as follows:
MARGARET BRENNAN: There’s a congressional act with your name on it, literally.
FAUCI: Yes, exactly. And it’s just a lot of- well, anyway —
BRENNAN: Finish the thought.
FAUCI: No- no. There’s a lot of politicization of that. And I think there’s a lot of misinformation, disinformation and outright lies about that. And that’s really unfortunate.
BRENNAN: You’re angry about it.
FAUCI: Well, you know, my concern that I keep saying is that my job is to do what I can as a scientist to preserve and protect the health of the American public and indirectly, in many respects, the health of the world because our country is a leader in science. A leader in health. A leader in the kinds of things- Where did these vaccines come from that are saving millions of people? They came from us. That’s my job. The politicization of it is really unfortunate because as I’ve said, I’ve stayed away from politics my entire life. I am somebody who only cares about science and health, and it is- you’re right, it’s painful and disturbing to see when you’re trying to focus all of your attention on doing what you can do the way we did to create the vaccines, to develop the drugs, to save millions of lives. And then you have this completely outlandish politicization of it.
BRENNAN: The- two Washington Post reporters said that back in July of 2020, you had been speaking to your wife about resigning.
FAUCI: I never spoke to my wife, ever about resigning. They got that wrong. I never even considered for a moment of resigning.
BRENNAN: Why do you feel so strongly about that, about staying on the job when you become, I mean, you were personally not just rhetorically threatened, your security, your safety, your family? How did you deal with that?
FAUCI: I dealt with it by focusing on what my job is from the time that I went into medicine to right now, where I am at my age, my job has been totally focused on doing what I can with the talents and the influence I had to make scientific advances to protect the health of the American public. So anybody who spins lies and threatens and all that theater that goes on with some of the investigations and the congressional committees and the Rand Paul’s and all that other nonsense, that’s noise, that’s noise. I know what my job is.
BRENNAN: Senator Cruz told the attorney general you should be prosecuted.
FAUCI: Yeah. I have to laugh at that. I should be prosecuted? What happened on Jan. 6, senator?
BRENNAN: Do you think that this is about making you a scapegoat to deflect–
DR. FAUCI: Of course-
BRENNAN: –From President Trump?
FAUCI: Of course, you have to be asleep not to figure that one out.
BRENNAN: Well, there are a lot of Republican senators taking aim at this. I mean–
FAUCI: That’s OK, I’m just going to do my job and I’m going to be saving lives and they’re going to be lying.
BRENNAN: It just, it seems, another layer of danger to play politics around matters of life and death.
FAUCI: Right, exactly. Exactly. And to me, that’s- that’s unbelievably bad because all I want to do is save people’s lives. 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. To me, that’s more dangerous than the slings and the arrows that get thrown at me. And if you damage science, you are doing something very detrimental to society long after I leave.
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