Former Rep. Ron Paul on Thursday called for the firing of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease specialist leading President Trump’s medical response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Paul, a retired doctor who ran three times for president during his decades in politics, also called Dr. Fauci a “fraud” and encouraged Americans to “quit listening to him.”
The former Republican congressman from Texas made the remarks during an internet program he co-hosts, the Ron Paul Liberty Report, after Dr. Fauci slashed the number of Americans projected to die from COVID-19, the infectious respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
“Even the bad guys are admitting it, and that is they made these dire predictions so that they could go ahead and destroy peoples’ civil liberties and spend a lot of money and make up an excuse on why the stock market actually went down — all kinds of things by having this coronavirus event blown way out of proportion,” Mr. Paul said.
“He should be fired,” Mr. Paul said about Dr. Fauci. “But if you don’t do it in the literal sense, the people have to fire him. And they have to fire him by saying ‘he’s a fraud.’ “
Dr. Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the president’s coronavirus task force, told NBC during an interview aired earlier on Thursday that the coronavirus may cause far fewer deaths within the U.S. than previously estimated because of Americans following social distancing practices recommended to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“The real data are telling us it is highly likely we are having a definite positive effect by the mitigation things that we’re doing, this physical separation,” Dr. Fauci said on the “Today” show, adding that the number of deadly COVID-19 cases in country could be closer to 60,000 rather than the 100,000 to 240,000 projected by his task force days earlier.
Mr. Paul subsequently responded on his internet program by alleging that future efforts to curb the pandemic will further erode civil liberties.
“The plan that they have is when things are getting back to normal, yes, people can return to their work, and they do things, and go to the golf course — if you get a stamp of approval,” Mr. Paul said. “Your liberties are there if you get the proper stamp from the government.”
“It’s an excuse to have total control over the people,” Mr. Paul claimed during his podcast.
Mr. Paul, 84, previously referred to Dr. Fauci as the “chief fearmonger of the Trump Administration” in a column he published last month titled “The Coronavirus Hoax.”
He is the father of Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, who tested positive last month for COVID-19 and has since recovered.
More than 466,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University. Of those, over 17,000 died and more than 26,000 recovered.