From the pandemic’s earliest days, Dr. Anthony Fauci has drawn political fire from COVID-19 skeptics. As director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Fauci is steeped in the scientific disciplines of virology, immunology and vaccine design. But critics, especially President Trump and his political allies, continue to excoriate him for supporting textbook public health measures like wearing face coverings and building immunity with vaccines.
The latest example occurred this week on Capitol Hill, when Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) effectively accused Fauci of sending U.S. tax dollars to China so scientists there could soup up coronaviruses culled from bats and make them more dangerous to people. Then he accused Fauci of lying to Congress about the purported project.
“Sen. Paul, you do not know what you’re talking about, and I want to say that officially,” Fauci said. “I totally resent the lie you are now propagating.”