GOP lawmakers lashed out at White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci Wednesday after a bevy of his emails from the early days of the coronavirus pandemic were made public.
Many Republicans focused their ire on the fact that Fauci received messages in early 2020 warning that the virus had been “engineered” or may have otherwise emerged from a lab in Wuhan, China while publicly dismissing the possibility.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has clashed with Fauci on a number of pandemic-related issues this year, set the tone early Wednesday morning by tweeting: “Told you” followed by an emoji of a pair of eyes and the hashtag, “#firefauci”
“Fauci’s leaked emails are shocking to say the least,” agreed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).
“He needs to be FIRED!” Greene followed that tweet by posting an image of herself wearing a black mask bearing the words “Fire Fauci.”
“Big Tech was censoring posts about the Wuhan lab leak. The media was calling people who talked about the Wuhan lab leak conspiracy theorists,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) tweeted. “All while Fauci himself was emailing about COVID-19 possibly leaking from the Wuhan lab. Let that sink in.”
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows claimed to Fox News Wednesday that Fauci did not relay any of the correspondence about the lab leak theory to the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force in early 2020.
“Part of the troubling thing that we’re seeing with these emails that are coming out is, not only do they seem to correspond with what President Trump said and what [then-] Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo said in terms of the origins of the virus,” Meadows said on “Hannity,” but it indicates that Dr. Fauci had knowledge, or at least a suspicion, of things not happening in an evolutionary manner very early on, and he didn’t share that … That’s very troubling and something that we do need to get to the bottom of.”
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the top Republican on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, said Wednesday the emails show the need for more openness from the National Institutes of Health.
“We must learn how the COVID-19 pandemic started and where it came from so that we can respond and be prepared for the world’s next pandemic,” Rodgers said in a statement. “NIH must be more forthcoming with information they currently have. We need more transparency from the NIH to inform and complete a thorough scientific investigation.”
“Fauci lost my trust long before this,” claimed Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas). “Never contextualizing his statements, never giving honest risk assessments, always treating us like we are too stupid to do anything but lockdown and wear masks forever. The emails show it was worse than we thought.”
Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) focused on an email in which Fauci responded to a Chinese health official who apologized for saying the US and other countries had made a “big mistake” by not encouraging people to wear masks from the start of the pandemic.
“I understand completely,” Fauci answered. “No problem. We will get through this together.”
“Instead of holding the [Chinese Communist Party] accountable for the global pandemic, Dr. Fauci instead told them we will ‘get through this together.’”, McClain raged. “This is disgraceful.”
Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), who introduced a bill last month called the Fauci Incompetence Requires Early Dismissal (FIRED) Act, tweeted that it was “time for Americans to hear from other voices. Dr. Fauci has lost credibility.”
The 3,200 pages of emails dating from between January and June 2020 were released to Buzzfeed News following a Freedom of Information Act request.