House Republicans complained to Dr. Anthony Fauci for not letting Americans eat at restaurants, while charging that COVID-positive migrants are being released into the country – and people’s liberties are being lost.
Fauci was chided by Reps. Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan as he testified alongside Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky Thursday before the House Select subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.
‘We had 15 days to slow the spread turned into one year of lost liberty,’ Jordan said. ‘What metrics, what measures, what has to happen before Americans get their freedoms back?’
Dr. Anthony Fauci was on the receiving end of complaints from House Republicans about cramped conditions at the southern border and Americans losing their ‘freedoms’ thanks to COVID-19 rules
The House’s No. 2 Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise (pictured), held up pictures of cramped border conditions and asked Dr. Anthony Fauci why migrants weren’t following the rules Americans were forced to
Then Rep. Jim Jordan tore into Dr. Anthony Fauci for Americans losing their ‘First Amendment freedoms’ during the pandemic and asked him when those freedoms might be restored amid increasing COVID cases
Scalise held up pictures of packed border facilities and accused the U.S. government of operating with a double standard.
‘COVID-positive migrants are released into the country, and that’s allowed – but a vaccinated person can’t go to a restaurant?’ Scalise said. ‘Kids packed in crowded, poory ventilated cells six inchse, not six feet, apart for 20 hour a day or more – but we can’t open schools for in-person learning?’
Fauci answered Scalise’s questions more delicately, while pushing back on Jordan’s assertions.
‘No doubt it’s a very difficult situation at the border,’ Fauci told Scalise. ‘I mean obviously everyone would like to see that situation fixed, I know that it’s a very difficult situation,’ he added after the Louisiana Republican asked if migrants in custody should be following COVID-19 social distancing protocols.
To Jordan’s question about when Americans would have their ‘freedoms’ restored, Fauci explained that the level of infection in the country would need to be much lower.
‘You’re indicating liberty and freedom I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to the hospital,’ Fauci also said. ‘I don’t look at this as a liberty thing, Congressman Jordan, I look at this as a public health thing.’
Fauci’s response infuriated Jordan, who ticked off the First Amendment freedoms he thought Americans were losing due to COVID-19 rules.
Jordan brought up the border too, pointing out how the Biden administration was violating the freedom of the press, by not letting journalists into the overcrowded facilities that Scalise had brought pictures of.
‘Guess what! The press isn’t allowed in those facilities,’ Jordan said.
Fauci deployed a different tactic, telling Jordan, ‘I think you’re making this a personal thing and it isn’t.’
‘You are, that is exactly what you’re doing,’ Fauci charged.
‘My recommendations are not a personal recommendation, it’s based on the CDC guidance, which is underscored …’ Fauci continued, before being interrupted by Jordan.
Jordan demanded, again to know ‘what measures have to be attained before Americans get their First Amendment liberties back.’
‘I just told you that,’ Fauci said.
‘No, you haven’t given anything specific,’ Jordan shot back.
‘Right now we have about 60,000 infections a day, which is a very large risk for a surge, we’re not talking about liberties, we’re talking about a pandemic that has killed 560,000 Americans, that’s what we’re talking about,’ Fauci replied.
Jordan pointed to businesses being closed and people not being able to go to church and continued to press Fauci for a number.
‘When 90 per cent of the members of Congress get vaccinated,’ inserted the chairman of the committee, Rep. Jim Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, hitting the gavel to tell Jordan his time was up.