Dr. Anthony Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) went at each other again in a heated exchange during Tuesday’s Senate hearing.

Paul accused Fauci of discrediting conservative academics who disagreed with the 2020 shutdown. To prove his point, Paul presented Fauci’s emails to colleagues with a Wired article disproving the concept of “herd immunity” as proof of Fauci’s efforts. He said that Fauci has largely ignored the science of immunity.

Paul also said that at least some responsibility for the creation of the COVID-19 virus should be placed on Fauci through so-called “gain-of-function” research. He doesn’t believe Fauci’s denial that the virus came from a lab.

Fauci responded by saying Paul’s lies put his family in danger.

“What happens when [Paul] gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue is that all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there, and I have … threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me,” Fauci said.

Fauci’s name was found on a hit list made by a California man last month. The man was arrested when police found weapons in his car. Fauci is no stranger to similar threats, as he has described threats against himself and his family in previous interviews. He has also been given increased security detail since the pandemic began.

Paul said threats on Fauci should not be attributed to him.

“To say that I’m responsible for death threats on him would be equivalent to myself or Steve Scalise saying that the Bernie Sanders supporter that shot us, that it was Bernie Sanders’ responsibility,” Paul said referring to the Congressional baseball shooting.

Not all Republicans agree with Paul.

“You are scientists, not politicians,” Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said. “Nevertheless, you are being made subject to the political whims of various political individuals. And that comes at a high cost, which, unfortunately, I fear will lead some to not want to participate in helping our government.”

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