“We really better be very careful, particularly when it comes to children.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci turned the tables on Senator Rand Paul Tuesday, after the Kentucky Republican suggested the immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) should be more humble and even point-blank told him he was not the “end all” when it comes to knowing about the coronavirus.
Senator Paul, who recovered after contracting COVID-19, was pushing for schools to re-open, suggesting the coronavirus doesn’t kill many children.
“Shouldn’t we at least be discussing what the mortality of children is?” Paul asked Fauci, saying for those 18 and younger it “approaches zero.”
“We never reached any sort of pandemic levels in Kentucky and other [rural] states,” Paul insisted. “Outside of New England, we’ve had a relatively benign course for this virus nationwide.”
That’s false. New York, which has been the epicenter of the disease for most of the time, is not in New England. Illinois now ranks number three in total deaths. Louisiana ranks fifth in deaths per capita. D.C. ranks sixth, followed by Michigan – which ranks fourth in total deaths.
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) tweeted a quick smack-down of Senator Paul’s provably false claims: “Warren County, Kentucky – where Rand Paul lives – has more COVID-19 cases per capita than 51 of the 67 counties in New England states.”
Sen. Paul then went after Dr. Fauci, saying, “I think we ought to have a little humility in our belief we know what’s best for the economy.”
“As much as I respect you Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you’re the end-all. I don’t think you get to make a decision.”
Paul also said “the facts” will show there will not be another surge, saying, “I think it’s a huge mistake if we don’t open the schools in the fall.”
Fauci never advocated for not opening schools, so it’s unclear why Paul was attacking him for that. Even Chairman Lamar Alexander suggested Fauci tell Paul he had not said that.
“I have never made myself out to be the ‘end all’ and only voice in this,” Fauci responded. “I’m a scientist, a physician and a public health official. I don’t give advice about economic things, I don’t give advice about anything other than public health.”
And then he delivered a smack-down to Senator Paul.
“You used the word that we should be ‘humble’ about what we don’t know. And I think that falls under the fact that we don’t know everything about this virus, and we really better be very careful, particularly when it comes to children.”
“Because the more and more we learn, we’re seeing things about what this virus can do, that we didn’t see from the studies in China, or in Europe. For example, right now, children presenting with COVID-19 symptoms, who actually have a very strange inflammatory syndrome, very similar to Kawasaki Syndrome,” he said.
“I think we better be careful that we’re not cavalier, in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects,” Fauci warned.
Sen. Rand Paul: “I don’t think you’re the end all. I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci: “I have never made myself out to be the end all and only voice in this. I’m a scientist, a physician and a public health official.” pic.twitter.com/Nqlg3zOqn3
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 12, 2020
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‘Well to Put It in Full Context, Peter’: Psaki Kicks Off Week Smacking Down Doocy With Truth Cocktail
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki kicked the week off with a Monday briefing and wasted no time correcting Fox News’ Peter Doocy, who had used a wholly out-of-context question to falsely attack President Joe Biden.
“Before Joe Biden was president he said the COVID travel restrictions on foreign countries were ‘hysterical,’ ‘xenophobia’ and ‘fear mongering.’ So what changed?” Doocy demanded.
“Well, I would say first to put in full context, Peter, what the President was critical of was the way that the former President put out, I believe, a xenophobic tweet, and had and how he, what he called the coronavirus, and who he directed it at. The President has not been critical of travel restrictions. We have put those in place ourselves. We put them in place ourselves in the spring, but no he does not believe – he believes we should follow the advice of health and medical experts. That’s exactly what he did, and putting in place these restrictions over the weekend.”
In fact, as Politifact noted in March of 2020, “Biden has not directly said that the restrictions were xenophobic.”
“Around the time the Trump administration announced the travel restriction, Biden said that Trump had a ‘record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering,'” Politifact added. He did not call travel restrictions “hysterical,” “xenophobia,” or “fear mongering.”
Here’s that Biden tweet from Feb. 2020:
We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 1, 2020
Politifact added that “Biden used the phrase ‘xenophobic’ in reply to a Trump tweet about limiting entry to travelers from China and in which Trump described the coronavirus as the ‘Chinese virus.'”
Here’s that tweet, from March 2020:
Stop the xenophobic fear-mongering. Be honest. Take responsibility. Do your job. https://t.co/nQ5aLVrpyb
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 18, 2020
WH Press Sec. Psaki responds to Fox News’ Peter Doocy’s bad-faith question about travel restrictions:
“What the president was critical of was the way that the former president put out, I believe, a xenophobic tweet, and what he called the coronavirus and who he directed it at.” pic.twitter.com/O86c8GuaEg
— The Recount (@therecount) November 29, 2021
Psaki Shuts Down Doocy: Donald Trump Was ‘Suggesting People Inject Poison Into Their Veins’
Despite Fox News spending the better part of a year injecting anti-vaxx hysteria into America, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy on Wednesday tried to blame President Joe Biden for the “vaccine hesitancy” that exists almost exclusively among Republicans.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was not having any of it, and was forced to remind Doocy and America of the time Trump suggested injecting “disinfectant” into the veins of human beings to cure COVID-19:
“And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out, in a minute,” Trump said in April of 2020. “Is there a way we can do something like that? By injection, inside, or almost a cleaning, ’cause you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. You’re going to have to use medical doctors, right? But it sounds interesting to me.”
Doocy, in a clearly pre-written speech designed to be replayed on Fox News programming, told Psaki that “last year around this time the previous administration was rushing to get a vaccine authorized, and the-now president said, ‘I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump, and at this moment the American people can’t either.'”
“Well,” Psaki replied, “I think it’s safe to say he still doesn’t touch trust Donald Trump, so that hasn’t changed, but he does trust scientists, he does trust data experts, and he does trust the people leading the CDC, the FDA – which is the gold standard of approval for vaccines, I’d also note because this question often comes up, that the President has repeatedly given credit to scientists and experts from the prior administration, even as recently as just a few weeks ago, for their role in moving the vaccine forward.”
Doocy, refusing to concede to facts, retorted that “at the time, when Donald Trump is out there saying ‘we’re gonna have a vaccine in the next couple of weeks, next couple months,’ and Joe Biden is out on the campaign trail saying, ‘Don’t trust Donald Trump,’ did that create any kind of vaccine hesitancy?”
Many Americans at the time said they would not trust the vaccine because they believed Trump would force the FDA to approve a vaccine too soon, just so he could get re-elected. His own White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, in the middle of September all but promised the vaccine would be approved by the end of that month.
“Not that we’ve seen in the data. I would note that at the time, just for context, the former president was also suggesting people inject versions of poison into their veins to cure COVID. So I think that’s a relevant point.”
“I would note that at the time, just for context, the former president was also suggesting people inject versions of poison into their veins to cure Covid” — Jen Psaki to Peter Doocy pic.twitter.com/qdnySKMR3B
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 11, 2021
‘We’re Here to State the Facts’: Psaki Smacks Down DeSantis for Calling Biden a ‘Power Hungry Tyrant’
Press Secretary Jen Psaki made clear the White House is not interested in partisan name calling as it responded to Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis calling President Joe Biden a “power hungry tyrant.”
“25% of hospitalizations in the country are in Florida,” Psaki told a reporter who brought up the DeSantis remark, which came from a fundraising email.
“It is also a fact that the governor has taken steps that are counter to public health recommendations,” Psaki continued. “So, we’re here to state the facts. Frankly, our view is that this is too serious, deadly serious to be doing partisan name calling. That’s what we’re not doing here, we’re focused on providing public health data information to the people of Florida, to make sure they understand what steps they should be taking, even if those are not steps taken at the top of the leadership in that state.
“This is too serious—deadly serious—to be doing partisan name-calling.”
Asked by @sramosABC about Florida Gov. DeSantis calling Pres. Biden a “power-hungry tyrant,” Psaki says DeSantis has taken steps “that are counter to public health recommendations.” https://t.co/4U2SC5B12L pic.twitter.com/iq7OihqfFo
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 5, 2021
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