Pressed in a House hearing to provide clear targets for restoring individual freedoms or answer for the apparent failures of Covid-19 lockdowns, Dr. Anthony Fauci struggled to the point that Democrats cut off GOP questioning.
Asked repeatedly by Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to provide an infection rate or any timeline for easing Covid-19 restrictions, Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said cases remain unacceptably high but will gradually come down as more people are vaccinated.
Still pressing for an objective measure, Jordan asked, “What number do we get our liberties back? Tell me the number.” Committee Chairman Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina) reminded Jordan that his time was up and interjected, saying, “When 90% of the members of Congress get vaccinated,” in an apparent dig at colleagues who have been slow to get their Covid-19 jabs.
“Mr. Chairman, I don’t want you to answer my question,” Jordan said. “The American people want Dr. Fauci to answer the question.”
Representative Maxine Waters (D-California) then rebuked Jordan, saying, “You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth.” Clyburn added, “We’re going to handle this, and I think Mr. Jordan knows me very well. And he knows full well that we’re going to handle this.”
The exchange was one of several heated moments between Jordan and Fauci, who has flip-flopped on Covid-19 advice and admitted last fall to misleading people about vaccination targets to manipulate public opinion. In another round of questions, Jordan tried to get Fauci to answer for why states that followed his Covid-19 lockdowns had the eight highest rates of new infections over the past week, while Texas, which the doctor criticized for ending its pandemic restrictions last month, had one of the lowest rates.
“You gave us your guess on Texas,” Jordan said. “You said when Texas ended their mandate that this was ‘inexplicable’ and would lead to a surge in cases. Texas is near the bottom of the 50 states, but all the states at the top are lockdown states.