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Rand Paul’s latest legislation would kill an entire federal agency to get rid of Dr Fauci

Kentucky senator has repeatedly clashed with public health expert

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Tuesday 15 March 2022 17:00 GMT
Senator Rand Paul and Fauci clash during Senate hearing

Senator Rand Paul has introduced legislation to eliminate an entire federal agency, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, in order to oust its longtime director, Dr Anthony Fauci.

Mr Paul, a former ophthalmologist, has frequently promoted conspiracy theories which cast Dr Fauci as a villain who is responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, and has blamed the 81-year-old immunologist — who was appointed to run NIAID in 1984 by then-president Ronald Reagan — for public health measures imposed by state and local officials during the pandemic.

He has also frequently called for Dr Fauci to be fired and has suggested — without evidence — that the veteran physician, who also serves as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, is guilty of several federal crimes.

But as a senator, the Kentucky Republican can neither relieve Dr Fauci of duty nor charge him with any violation of law, so instead he is proposing to eliminate the agency he runs.

An amendment Mr Paul has offered to a pandemic prevention bill under consideration in the Senate would split NIAID into three separate institutes — one for the study of allergies, one for immunology, and one for infectious diseases.

“To ensure that ineffective, unscientific lockdowns and mandates are never foisted on the American people ever again, I’ve introduced this amendment to eliminate Dr. Anthony Fauci’s position as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and divide his power into three separate new institutes,” Mr Paul said in a statement.

It would further amend existing federal law to give each of those agencies a director who must be confirmed by the senate before serving in that position and put a five-year term limit on each position. This would potentially give senators such as Mr Paul veto power over the roles by allowing them to place “holds” on the nomination of any candidate they find unacceptable.

While the senator claimed his legislation would deny any “one person” the “unilateral authority to make decisions for millions of Americans” and would prevent what he described as abuses of power, Dr Fauci has never held such authority himself.

The public health measures he derided as “lockdowns” and “mandates” were not “foisted” on anyone by Dr Fauci but were imposed by state and local authorities under state and local public health laws.

Mr Paul’s push to eliminate Dr Fauci’s position is in line with other members of the Republican Party who have made the physician into a hate object.

A separate bill introduced by Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the “Fire Fauci Act,” has 20 GOP co-sponsors.

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