Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said Monday he will introduce an amendment to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and divide his role among three institutes.
Mr. Paul, a Republican, said in a Fox News op-ed that he thinks he can compel a vote on his amendment this week.
The senator said each of the institutes would be led by a presidential appointee who is confirmed by the Senate. He is proposing the move because he is concerned the director had too much say over the response to COVID-19 and divisive policies like social restrictions and masking.
“This will create accountability and oversight into a taxpayer-funded position that has largely abused its power and has been responsible for many failures and misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr. Paul wrote.
The senator took particular exception to Dr. Fauci and other officials pushing cloth masks, despite later research showing they weren’t very effective, and restrictions on businesses and schools.
Mr. Paul pointed to signs that children are falling behind academically and socially, and a Johns Hopkins study that found business lockdowns did massive economic harm but did not reduce mortality.
The senator also said Dr. Fauci wasn’t forthcoming enough about the possibility the coronavirus might have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the outbreak began, and the nature of U.S.-funded projects at the lab.
“If Fauci was simply one family doctor in Peoria, his mistakes would not be so catastrophic,” Mr. Paul wrote. “But since Fauci is allowed to be a medical czar for the whole country, his errors are amplified throughout the land.”
Dr. Fauci has led NIAID since the 1980s. He was a key adviser to former President Donald Trump and was promoted by President Biden as a special medical adviser.
He fell out of favor with Mr. Trump and Republicans after an early push to shut down society for a couple of weeks in early 2020 turned into long-term, rolling restrictions on social life. The doctor has been viewed as a kind of avatar of these restrictions though many mandates are dictated by governors and local officials.
For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.