Rand Paul, a senator from Kentucky, has clashed publicly with Anthony Fauci over virus research carried out before the pandemic. Ted Cruz, from Texas, has said Fauci should be prosecuted regarding his handling of the Covid response.
“Yeah,” Fauci told CBS in his Sunday interview. “I have to laugh at that. I should be prosecuted? What happened on 6 January, senator?”
Cruz was among Republicans who voted to object to electoral college results in key states, even after Trump supporters mounted a deadly attack on the US Capitol.
Asked if he was being made a scapegoat for Trump’s failings under Covid, Fauci said: “Of course, you have to be asleep not to figure that one out … That’s OK, I’m just going to do my job and I’m going to be saving lives and they’re going to be lying.”
Playing politics with his role in the Covid response, Fauci said, was “unbelievably bad because all I want to do is save people’s lives. That’s what I have done for the last 50 years …
“I mean, anybody who’s looking at this carefully realises that there’s a distinct anti-science flavor to this. So if they get up and criticize science, nobody’s going to know what they’re talking about. But if they get up and really aim their bullets at Tony Fauci, well, people could recognize there’s a person there. There’s a face, there’s a voice you can recognize, you see him on television.
“So it’s easy to criticise, but they’re really criticising science because I represent science. That’s dangerous. To me, that’s more dangerous than the slings and the arrows that get thrown at me.
“I’m not going to be around here forever, but science is going to be here forever. And if you damage science, you are doing something very detrimental to society long after I leave. And that’s what I worry about.”
Here’s video of one memorable exchange between Paul and Fauci, from a Senate hearing in July: