Republicans introduce bill to fire Fauci, amid US response to Covid
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Several Republican lawmakers, eager to blame a US government official for the response to the coronavirus pandemic, tabled a bill on Tuesday to fire Anthony Fauci, the face of US efforts to fight Covid-19.
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene led a handful of colleagues to announce the so-called Fire Fauci law, which would reduce the government salary of the notorious infectious disease expert to zero and force the Senate to confirm someone to fill his post .
Fauci, who has advised seven US presidents, had become a trusted figure in the government’s response to Covid-19, starting with his work under the administration of Donald Trump.
But conservatives have targeted his performance, accusing him of misleading Americans and providing conflicting advice on masks and social distancing.
“Dr. Fauci was not elected by the American people. He was not chosen to guide our economy. He was not chosen to rule over parents and the education of their children,” said Greene to reporters.
“But yet, Dr. Fauci has controlled our lives a lot over the past year.”
The bill is not expected to receive a floor vote in the Democratic-controlled House.
Greene, whose extremist statements made her a controversial figure in Congress, pointed to a series of emails from Fauci which Republicans took to claiming he had misled Americans and initially rejected the idea that Covid-19 could come from a Chinese laboratory.
“It’s time to fire Dr Anthony Fauci and give the American people answers,” she said.
The White House defended Fauci this month after the emails were circulated, calling him a “definite asset” in the pandemic response.
Greene also launched a fiery accusation against China, expressing suspicion that a Wuhan lab was seeking to turn the virus into a weapon.
“Why would there be viruses created, extracted from nature, which can be shared and transmitted between bats or other creatures, then exploited and transformed into some kind of virus which can spread among humans?” There’s a word for it: it’s called a biological weapon, ”she said.
“Were we all victims of a biological weapon? We demand answers.
China must also be held responsible, she said, noting research on “gain of function” by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, in which scientists increase the strength of a virus to better study its effects on hosts.
This week, the Chinese scientist at the center of theories that the pandemic was caused by a leak from her specialized laboratory in Wuhan denied that her institution was to blame for the health disaster.
“How the hell can I offer proof for something where there isn’t?” Dr Shi Zhengli told the New York Times.
Another sponsor of the late Fauci, Congressman Mo Brooks, has expressed support for Greene’s biological weapons theory, saying a country would only make a virus more contagious for “militarization purposes.”
© 2021 AFP