A Senate committee on March 15 rejected a measure from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would have eliminated the position held by Dr. Anthony Fauci since 1984.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions voted 17–5 to reject the measure, which was a proposed amendment to S. 3799, the PREVENT Pandemics Act.
Sens. Paul, Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) voted yes; the rest of the Republicans, including ranking member Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) joined Democrats in voting no.
Paul announced the measure before the meeting and urged colleagues to support it, arguing that Fauci, the longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, should be removed because he is among the “scientific elites who do not want their opinions questioned.”
Paul referenced internal emails that Fauci sent in which he and his former boss, Dr. Francis Collins, quickly moved to denigrate the epidemiologists who signed a document called the Great Barrington Declaration, which opposed some of the harsh measures Fauci had promoted to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
In one missive, Collins said he wanted a “takedown” of the declaration, prompting Fauci to send a link to an opinion article in Wired magazine that he claimed “debunked” the premise.
“This is not the role of someone in government,” Paul said. “This is the role of somebody who needs to be separated from government.”
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the panel’s chairwoman, encouraged colleagues to vote against the amendment, which would have split the institute Fauci heads into three separate ones and required directors of each receive Senate confirmation.
“It would actually interfere with the ongoing, rigorous, science-based approach at NIH,” she said. “It will interrupt its lifesaving work in responding to this pandemic and will have a chilling effect on scientists throughout the government who must feel free to speak their minds.”
Burr also said he’d vote no, in part because he believed S. 3799, which the panel ultimately discharged, would address some of the problems raised.
The bill will require heads of agencies to come before Congress and answer questions on certain policies and guidance, he said.
This is an excerpt from The Epoch Times.
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