Dr. Anthony Fauci, appearing frustrated with Republican criticisms, shot back at Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., by saying he has “nothing to do” with the southern border, after Graham called on him to visit the border to see the “super-spreader event” occurring there.
“Lindsey Graham, who I like — he’s a good person, I’ve dealt with him very, very well over the years — [is] equating me with things that have to do with the border. I have nothing to do with the border,” Fauci told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on “Your World” Friday.
“Obviously, it is a very difficult situation at the border. We all know that. The administration is trying as best as they can to alleviate that situation,” the White House chief medical adviser said. “Having me down at the border. That’s really not what I do.”
“Paging Dr. Fauci: You need to go to the southern border and witness in person the biggest super spreader event in the nation – President [Biden’s] immigration policies,” Graham tweeted Friday.
Graham said thousands of migrants from Central America with a “10% COVID-positive rate” are spreading the virus at overcrowded border facilities. The migrants are staying “on top of each other” and then “dumped off in Texas” and other parts of the country to further the spread of coronavirus, Graham said in a multi-thread tweet.
“Dr. Fauci, does COVID-science justify President Biden’s handling of migrants from Central America?” Graham tweeted. “If you are worried about the spread of COVID, you should be gravely concerned about what is happening at our southern border. There is no end in sight on this super-spreader event until these policies are changed.”
Fauci said he found such swipes from Republicans “a little bizarre.” “I’ve become sort of, for some reason or another, a symbol of anything they don’t like” as it relates to coronavirus, the health expert said.
“Peter Navarro saying I created the virus,” Fauci continued, “Think about that. Neil, isn’t that a little weird? I mean, come on.”
Navarro was asked on Fox News Tuesday night about Fauci’s remark that his decision to start working on a coronavirus vaccine in January 2020 “may have been the best decision that I’ve ever made.”
Navarro, trade adviser under former President Donald Trump, responded with a smear: “Fauci is a sociopath and a liar. He had nothing to do with the vaccine. The father of the vaccine is Donald J. Trump.”
“What is Fauci the father of? Fauci is the father of the actual virus. … The virus came from a Wuhan lab, basically we had Fauci funding that lab with American taxpayer dollars,” Navarro said, reaching conclusions not supported by facts.
In 2014, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the branch of the NIH headed by Fauci, awarded a $3.4 million grant to the New York-based EcoHealth Alliance. That group then hired the Wuhan Institute of Virology to conduct analyses of bat coronaviruses. EcoHealth Alliance paid the lab $598,500 over five years. The lab had earned approval from both the State Department and the NIH.
There is no conclusive evidence as to where the virus originated.