Sen. Marsha Blackburn: Question Fauci on COVID, China – here's what Senate must do to learn the truth

Maintaining the American people’s confidence should have been Fauci’s top priority

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For over a year, we have watched the politicization of America’s pandemic response provide cover for bureaucrats and politicians acting in their own self-interest. Fortunately, the tide is turning. 

Multiple investigations into the State Department and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have revealed a culture of secrecy perpetuated by public officials who ignored verified intelligence reports exposing potentially dangerous experimentation at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, quashed investigations into the lab leak hypothesis, and painted lawmakers and ordinary Americans who demanded accountability as racist conspiracy theorists.

If you need evidence of the viability of this reporting, look no further than NIAID Director Anthony Fauci’s June 9 interview with Chuck Todd of NBC.

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During the conversation Fauci unraveled, lashing out at critics and equating attacks on his job performance with attacks on science. His performance was an extension of the same fear-driven PR campaign embraced by other officials who used "science" as a cudgel against their political opponents.

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Fauci is right to be nervous. The media’s 20/20 hindsight revealed that his decision to downplay the lab leak hypothesis ignored both science and the NIH’s own history of mistakes in the lab. 

Between 2009 and 2014 alone, internal inquiries revealed decades of researchers playing fast and loose with live samples of smallpox, plague and anthrax. So why didn’t Fauci and his faithful lieutenants refute Chinese Communist Party propaganda claiming a lab leak was outside the realm of possibility? 

Evidence of his willingness to effectively join forces with our most dangerous adversary was the last nail in the coffin for his credibility – and it could not have come at a worse time.

Investigations into the deadly COVID coverup in our own country must run parallel to full and unbiased investigations into the origin of COVID-19 itself. 

More than half a million Americans have died from COVID-19 since Beijing allowed the novel coronavirus to bleed past China’s border. Lockdowns and supply chain interruptions destroyed more than 22 million jobs and caused trillions of dollars in economic damage. 

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Students and their families suffered through virtual schooling at the expense of their mental health and academic progress. Suicide rates spiked, and public health advocates lost control of the deadly opioid epidemic gripping much of the country. 

Maintaining the American people’s confidence should have been Fauci’s top priority; instead, he put politics first.

We’ve spent more than a year demanding truth and accountability from the Chinese government – but it no longer makes sense to stop there. We must look inward.

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Investigations into the deadly COVID cover-up in our own country must run parallel to full and unbiased investigations into the origin of COVID-19 itself. Dr. Fauci must make himself available for questioning before the Senate, under oath, and give the American people the answers they’re entitled to.

The United States of America is the most resilient, most capable, most determined nation on Earth, but we cannot and will not rise from the ashes of the COVID-19 pandemic if we stand by and allow the officials responsible for recovery to undermine what little confidence the people have left in our ability to do so.

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