United States Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) fired back at Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and President Joe Biden‘s chief medical advisor after Fauci denounced Cruz’s anti-science rhetoric and knocked Cruz for supporting the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on January 6 on Sunday’s edition of CBS’s Face the Nation.

Fauci said in an interview with host Margaret Brennan:

Senator Cruz told the attorney general you should be prosecuted.

Fauci:

Yeah. I have to laugh at that. I should be prosecuted? What happened on Jan. 6, Senator?

Brennan:

Do you think that this is about making you a scapegoat to deflect–

Fauci:

Of course-

Brennan:

-From President [Donald] Trump?

Fauci:

Of course, you have to be asleep not to figure that one out.

Brennan:

Well, there are a lot of Republican Senators taking aim at this. I mean–

Fauci:

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.

Brennan:

It just, it seems, another layer of danger to play politics around matters of life and death.

Fauci:

Right, exactly. Exactly. And to me, that’s- that’s unbelievably bad because all I want to do is save people’s lives. That’s what I have done for the last 50 years, 40 of which was 37 of which was leading the institute. And when I see people who scattered around misinformation and lies that can actually endanger the lives of people, but also it is very easy to pick out an individual and make them a target because that’s what people can focus on. But you’re talking about systems, you’re talking about the CDC, you’re talking about the FDA, you’re talking about science in general. So if they want to, I mean, anybody who’s looking at this carefully realizes 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 criticize, but they’re really criticizing 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.

Shortly after the Fauci segment aired, Paul incorrectly suggested that Fauci is not an actual scientist (he is) and reiterated his false claim that “natural immunity” is a guaranteed defense against Covid-19 infection. Natural immunity occurs after a person contracts a disease, and in the case of the coronavirus, is not 100% certain to prevent reinfection.

“The absolute hubris of someone claiming THEY represent science. It’s astounding and alarming that a public health bureaucrat would even think to claim such a thing, especially one who has worked so hard to ignore the science of natural immunity,” Paul tweeted.

Then, a few hours later, Cruz, who has promulgated the conspiracy theory that Covid-19 originated in and escaped from a Chinese lab, hopped onto Twitter to mock the value of science itself.

“Fauci is an unelected technocrat who has distorted science and facts in order to exercise authoritarian control over millions of Americans. He lives in a liberal world where his smug ‘I REPRESENT science’ attitude is praised,” Cruz’s began.

“Here are the facts: (1) On May 11, Fauci testified before a Senate Committee that ‘the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.’ (2) On October 20, NIH wrote they funded an experiment at the Wuhan lab testing if ‘spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.’ That is gain of function research,” wrote Cruz.

“(3) Fauci’s statement and the NIH’s October 20 letter cannot both be true. The statements are directly contradictory. (4) 18 USC 1001 makes it felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, to lie to Congress,” Cruz continued. “No amount of ad hominem insults parroting Democrat talking points will get Fauci out of this contradiction. Fauci either needs to address the substance—in detail, with specific factual corroboration—or DOJ should consider prosecuting him for making false statements to Congress.”

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