Jordan takes Fauci to task on protests spreading COVID-19
Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan (R) drilled Dr. Anthony Fauci during a House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis over whether or not the government should limit protests that are clearly contributing to the spread of the virus.
Fauci said that he could make a general statement that crowding together, particularly when not wearing a mask, contributed to the spread of the virus. He stopped short, however, of suggesting the government should limit protests.
“I’m not in a position to determine what the government can do in a forceful way,” Fauci began to say before being interrupted by Jordan.
“You make all kinds of recommendations, you make comments on dating, on baseball, on everything you can imagine. I’m just asking, you just said, protesting increases the spread. I’m just asking you should we try to limit the protest,” said Jordan.
Fauci responded that he would leave that up to people who have more of a position to do that. Jordan, however, pointed out the double standard.
“Government’s stopping people from going to church, Dr. Fauci. Last week, five liberals on the Supreme Court said it was okay for Nevada to limit church services. Is there a world where the Constitution says you can favor one First Amendment liberty, protesting, over another, practicing your faith,” Jordan said.
The top coronavirus doctor and taskforce leader appeared upset in his reply.
“I’m not favoring anybody over anybody,” Fauci said. “I’m just making a statement that’s a broad statement. Avoid crowds of any type no matter where you are, because that leads to the acquisition and transmission. And I don’t judge one crowd versus another crowd. When you’re in a crowd, particularly if you’re not wearing a mask, that induces the spread.”
“You can’t go to work, you can’t go to school, you can’t go to church but protesting is just fine,” said Jordan.
The Congressman brought up the recent case in New Jersey where gym owners were arrested for keeping their business open despite coronavirus restrictions. He said had the owners been outside protesting along with their customers they would not have been arrested.
“I’m not going to opine on who gets arrested and who does not,” Fauci said. “I mean, you get where I’m going.”
Fauci was blocked by the White House in May from testifying before Congress. The president called such a testimony counterproductive.
“The House is a setup,” Trump said. “The House is a bunch of Trump haters. They put every Trump hater on the committee. The same old stuff. They, frankly, want our situation to be unsuccessful, which means death.”
Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images
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