GOP Senate candidate prompts anger and confusion after he calls for Fauci to be jailed instead of Rittenhouse

Trump-backed Oklahoma Republican calls for NIAID director’s arrest amid Covid conspiracies

Gino Spocchia
Friday 19 November 2021 19:38
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Dr Fauci blasts senator’s Wuhan lab funding claims

A Republican congressional candidate in Oklahoma has called for Dr Anthony Fauci to face imprisonment, in remarks that compared Covid to the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.

The Republican candidate, Jackson Lahmeyer, allegedly told his followers in a recent Facebook video that America would be “upside down” if Dr Fauci can walk free and Mr Rittenhouse is imprisoned.

The Illinois teenager is currently facing life imprisonment for the shooting of three men, two of whom died, during anti-racism demonstrations in Wisconsin last August. He denies the accusations.

Mr Lahmeyer, as Newsweek reported, appeared in a Facebook live to accuse Democrats and Americans on Tuesday of “worship[ing] a mass murderer. He belongs in prison,” referencing Dr Fauci.

“But Kyle Rittenhouse, who defends himself against a convicted pedophile, a convicted woman beater, is fighting for his life not to go to prison,” the Republican continued. “Our nation is living upside down right now.”

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director has faced repeated attacks from Mr Lahmeyer, who is running against Republican senator James Lankford in Oklahoma.

Retweeting Newsweek’s article about his Facebook remarks on Thursday night, Mr Lahmeyer again called for Dr Fauci to be arrested and convicted and wrote: “Anthony Fauci is a mass-murderer who needs to be FIRED, ARRESTED & CONVICTED of crimes against humanity.”

He added in a following retweet: “If you fund the creation [of] a virus like COVID19 in a Wuhan Lab using Gain Of Function research and that virus kills millions of people that means you are a mass-murderer. Fauci is a mass-murderer Who also loves to kill puppies…”

Mr Lahmeyer referenced false allegations that Dr Fauci, as head of NIAID, helped to fund research into coronaviruses in Wuhan, China, before the outbreak of Covid-19.

Dr Fauci has appeared before Congress to say that NIAID funding was not used for controversial gain-of-function research that increases the transmissibility of a virus, and that Covid-19 was most probably of a “natural occurrence”.

The American intelligence community remains divided about whether or not the Covid-19 outbreak occurred naturally or came from a laboratory – but claims that the virus was leaked intentionally have widely been rebutted.

Mr Lahmeyer added on his Facebook and Twitter pages that YouTube removed a video featuring his allegations about Covid, citing its “medical misinformation policy”.

Mr Lahmeyer’s campaign website states that he “never thought he would run for political office, but after James Lankford betrayed President Trump on January 6, Lahmeyer said he was ‘fed up’ and decided to enter the race.”

He has been endorsed by Donald Trump, who feuded with Dr Fauci as US president, and disgraced security adviser Michael Flynn. who recently called for “one nation” with “one religion” – which is against the US constitution.

Mr Trump and Republicans beholden to him have been fairly critical of Covid restrictions and have furthered inaccurate theories about the origins of the virus – all the while criticising Dr Fauci for his role introducing public health measures.

Mr Lahmeyer told The Independent that he stood by his remarks and believed Dr Fauci would be jailed in future “if justice is served”.

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