Critics didn’t miss the hypocrisy Sunday as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) attacked infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and the science of COVID-19 a week after he took advantage of an early vaccine to protect himself against the virus.

Rubio, who has often downplayed the threat of COVID-19 and has blown off wearing a mask in mass gatherings even as cases of the virus were spiking, hasn’t once criticized the disinformation or dismissive attitude about COVID-19 from President Donald Trump. (Check out the video above.)

Yet he slammed Fauci’s advice, claiming in a tweet that the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases “lied about masks” (in March) and “has been distorting the level of vaccination needed for herd immunity.”

Fauci, concerned at the start of the pandemic that a mask shortage would put health-care workers at risk, initially downplayed masks for the public. But he has for several months strongly and repeatedly advised that everyone wear a mask.

As for herd immunity, Fauci and other health experts until recently have said up to 70% of the population would need to get the vaccine to reach herd immunity. But based on updated estimates, Fauci has increased that in the past week to between 70% and 85%.

Dr. Fauci lied about masks in March Dr. Fauci has been distorting the level of vaccination needed for herd immunityIt isn’t just himMany in elite bubbles believe the American public doesn’t know “what’s good for them” so they need to be tricked into “doing the right thing”

— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 27, 2020

Rubio also attacked Americans in “elite bubbles” in his tweet. Yet Rubio joined an elite bubble when he became one of the first Americans to get a vaccine against COVID-19, jumping the line ahead of countless elderly Americans, first responders and healthcare workers at far bigger risk of contracting the disease than he is. He tweeted a photo of himself being inoculated last Saturday.

I know I looked away from the needle And yes, I know I need a tanBut I am so confident that the #Covid19 vaccine is safe & effective that I decided to take it myself pic.twitter.com/TQbog6fu7i

— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 19, 2020

Followers on Twitter let the Florida senator have it.

Why does little @marcorubio find the “courage” to attack Dr. Fauci, America’s Top infectious disease expert but not the president of the US who constantly lied to the American people about this terrible pandemic? 🤔

— Republicans for Joe Biden 🇺🇸 (@RepsForBiden) December 27, 2020

Republican’s in 2020Jan: HoaxFeb: HoaxMar: HoaxApr: HoaxMay: HoaxJun: HoaxJul: HoaxAug: HoaxSep: HoaxOct: HoaxNov: HoaxDec: Vaccine are here…. ME FIRST, ME FIRST, MOVE OUT OF THE WAY ME FIRST..

— #CountryOverParty 🇺🇸 (@n_ymiller) December 28, 2020

Now that Marco got the vaccine before the nation's healthcare workers, he's back to work smearing the nation's premiere immunologist.

— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) December 27, 2020

You mean like this guy, in an “elite bubble” who got their shots before front line workers? Also – I doubt Jesus approves of your tweet. pic.twitter.com/27aQ22CpSd

— michelle (@shellymatic) December 27, 2020

Rubio to get in boat: I HAVE A CHILDRubio once on the boat: You dont need these boats you silly fools. It's only sea water pic.twitter.com/Bcm5dflYSP

— NinjaNewfieInTheGarden (@NinjaNewfieCA) December 27, 2020

F*cking bull, and you know it, Mario. Remove your head from Trump’s butt, please. Much better air will clear your head. https://t.co/dnZMJreiHk

— Mark Pocan (@MarkPocan) December 27, 2020

Dr. Fauci is a national hero, while Marco Rubio used his influence to elbow his way to the front of the vaccination line, ahead of the elderly and essential health care workers.https://t.co/M0IrPzdGRW

— Nathan Max (@natemax) December 27, 2020

When you turned while getting your vaccination shot, was it that you couldn't face the needle or because you couldn't face the doctors and nurses you cut in front of ?

— Jason😷 (@sparky347v) December 27, 2020

Marco Rubio is casting doubt on the expert that has guided America through the COVID crisis while the president that Rubio continues to support has spread lies and conspiracies about the virus.

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 27, 2020

hey bro https://t.co/UMo2TsWtcx

— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) December 27, 2020

You jumped the line as a politician to get the coronavirus vaccine before elderly patients with pre-existing conditions who need it the most. Then you call Dr. Fauci and everyone else an elitist. You sir, have no shame.

— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) December 27, 2020

If you got a coronavirus vaccine months ahead of everyone else then you shouldn’t allowed to slander Dr. Anthony Fauci.CC lil Marco

— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) December 27, 2020

pic.twitter.com/ggXW9Mqixz

— 🇺🇸SHRED🇺🇸 (@Hobie_SHRED) December 27, 2020

Vaccine line cutters like Marco Rubio are why Dr. Fauci has to live in fear of his life every dayThey’re responsible for the massive disinformation campaign that has destroyed the economy & brainwashed the susceptibleLil Marco stop slanderin and panderin. You’ll never be Prez

— Lindy Li (@lindyli) December 27, 2020

So you elbowed your way to the front of the vaccine line and now you’re yelling back that it’s not something other people need?Is there a Bible verse for that you could hide behind?

— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) December 27, 2020

How’s that vaccine taste?

— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) December 27, 2020

Tastes like chicken… privilege and chicken… pic.twitter.com/rIij9ccjA1

— KamikazePete👊🏾💁🏾‍♀️ (@MajorRockstar79) December 27, 2020

310,000+ dead Americans and you're tweeting about Dr. Fauci, someone who is trying desperately hard to fight the pandemic.As opposed your boss, who's been doing THIS since January: pic.twitter.com/ZOgeYrraqA

— Ann Lewis Hamilton (@AnnLHamilton) December 27, 2020

You supported the guy who said it would go away when the weather got warm. pic.twitter.com/4CuD2Eufmh

— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) December 27, 2020

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus

How long does it take for the coronavirus vaccine to work? Which masks will actually keep your face warm this winter? Can you close your COVID “bubble” without losing friends forever? How will spending the holidays in quarantine affect our mental health? What happens to all those face masks and gloves we’re tossing in the trash? Find all that and more on our coronavirus hub page.

As COVID-19 cases rise, it’s more important than ever to remain connected and informed. Join the HuffPost community today. (It’s free!)

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