Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Friday called on Dr. Anthony Fauci to “step aside” as more Americans grow to believe the Chinese coronavirus originated in a lab.
“The American people are figuring this out. Fauci should step aside and help with the investigation,” Blackburn tweeted, referencing a The Economist/YouGov survey showing a majority of Americans, 58 percent, expressing the belief that the virus originated in a Wuhan lab:
The American people are figuring this out. Fauci should step aside and help with the investigation. https://t.co/ZgRblt4pH9
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) June 25, 2021
The Tennessee senator has been one of the most prominent GOP lawmakers questioning the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, even calling for his firing.
This month, Blackburn pointed to the emergence of emails showing how Fauci handled the pandemic behind the scenes, focusing specifically on his correspondence with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“What we do know is that definitely Dr. Fauci and Mark Zuckerberg were in cahoots on this, and it certainly deserves a look and an investigation from Congress,” the Tennessee senator said during an appearance on Fox Business:
What we also know is Dr. Fauci was running a PR campaign. He was not giving the American people accurate scientific information. He was cherry-picking different facts to help him in a PR campaign. So maybe he should leave his post and go work for an ad agency to try to do PR campaigns.
One of the emails shows Zuckerberg thanking the White House medical adviser for his leadership and alerting him of Facebook’s rollout of the coronavirus information hub where users could get “authoritative information” from sources Facebook deemed “reliable.”
“As a central part of this hub, I think it would be useful to include a video from you because people trust and want to hear from our experts rather than just a bunch of agencies and political leaders,” Zuckerberg said in the email to Fauci, who called the proposal “terrific”:
Very exciting. pic.twitter.com/eENFc1Yzxx
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) June 2, 2021
Fauci has not taken criticisms well, asserting that attacks on him are actually attacks on science itself.
“Dr. Fauci should have learned in science class that you need evidence to support a claim,” Blackburn said following Fauci’s appearance with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.
“Fauci was once again evasive and dishonest. Rather than conduct a serious interview, Chuck Todd downplayed the concerns of the American people. We have had enough of that from the media over the past 15 months. I stand by my tweet,” she added, referencing her post in which she detailed the emails between Fauci and Zuckerberg:
Here are the facts on Fauci that big tech doesn’t want you to know. pic.twitter.com/qDAdMOFMFq
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) June 8, 2021
Fauci has since downplayed the lab leak theory, dismissing it as a “very, very, very, very remote possibility.”