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Sen. Marco Rubio on Wednesday accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of repeatedly lying to the public about COVID-19.
Rubio (R-Fla.) wrote in a Fox News op-ed that he was “appalled” by Fauci’s “arrogance” in allegedly lying about the effectiveness of masks and the percent of the population that needs to be vaccinated.
Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden’s “chief medical adviser” after Jan. 20.
Rubio wrote that Fauci last week “acknowledged that he selectively lied” about the share of the population that must be vaccinated to halt the virus.
“When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent,” Fauci told the New York Times. “Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.”
“The American people deserve the truth; they also deserve accountability. When elected representatives make decisions, they can be held responsible by the public. But when public health officials with decades of experience and leadership within our nation’s institutions short-circuit the political process and make these decisions themselves, they deny the American people that same opportunity — and to change course if desired,” Rubio wrote.
“Passing the buck to unelected technocrats avoids accountability and means falling back on two fallacies: first, that science gives us a straightforward playbook for answering questions facing decision-makers; and, second, that those technocrats are the only legitimate interpreters of the facts,” he continued.
The Florida senator also noted that Fauci previously said in March that “there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask” to prevent the spread of the respiratory bug.
Fauci attended White House coronavirus press briefings throughout March and April without a mask. His detractors note that East Asian countries credit near-universal early mask wearing in January and February with preventing large outbreaks and say US health officials lied to the public to avoid a run on medical supplies.
Rubio wrote the US should cease “placing blind faith in unelected celebrity scientists — elevated by a media that award Emmys to negligent politicians with their own grisly records,” in reference to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent award for hosting press conferences, despite his administration notoriously forcing nursing homes to accept COVID-19-positive patients.
Rubio added: “I do not question Dr. Fauci’s motives — I trust they are noble — but I am appalled by his arrogance. If he wants to lead the nation, he should run for office. Otherwise, he should give us an honest and transparent reading of the science, not polling data, and let the rest of us — policymakers and the American people who have elected them — do our jobs.”
Fauci’s office did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment. He has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.
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