Saturday, January 22nd, 2022

Fauci responds to vaccine skeptic senator

WASHINGTON: Top American scientist Anthony Fauci slammed a vaccine skeptic Republican senator for unleashing “crazies” {who were|who have been|have been} threatening his life and harassing his family, in unusually emotional congressional testimony on Tuesday.

{The latest|The most recent|The newest} bitter exchange between Fauci and Senator Rand Paul came as Covid-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant soared, sending hospitalizations to an all-time {high of|a lot of|most of} 145,982, beating out {a previous|a prior} record of around 142,000 in January 2021.

The United States {is the|may be the|could be the} world’s hardest-hit country, {with more|with increased|with an increase of} than 840,000 deaths, and is reeling from its fifth wave.

President Joe Biden’s top officials, including his chief medical advisor Fauci, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Walenksy, and acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) head Janet Woodcock were summoned to testify {before the|prior to the|ahead of the} Senate {about the|concerning the|in regards to the} pandemic.

While many fellow lawmakers focused their questions on {the lack of|the possible lack of|having less} adequate testing and confusing new guidelines {on how|how|on what} infected people should end their isolation, Paul, who has railed against vaccine mandates and refused {to get|to obtain|to have} vaccinated, said Fauci was personally {to blame|at fault|the culprit} for people’s deaths.

Paul said Fauci was the “lead architect” of America’s Covid response, blaming him for the around 450,000 deaths that occurred since Biden took office — although {the vast majority|the great majority|a large proportion} were unvaccinated, and health officials including Fauci have consistently advocated for vaccines.

“You personally attack me and with absolutely {not a|not really a|not just a} shred of {evidence of|proof of|proof} {anything you|whatever you|what you} say,” Fauci responded.

The 81-year-old director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases added the attacks distracted from the important work of tackling the pandemic, and made him {a personal|an individual|your own} target for violence.

“{All of|All|Most of|Every one of|Each of} {a sudden|an immediate} that kindles the crazies {out there|available|on the market}, and {I have|I’ve} life threats upon {my life|my entire life}, harassment of {my family|my loved ones|my children}, and my children with obscene phone calls.”

Fauci recalled that in late December, {a man|a person} was arrested on his way from California to the capital Washington armed {with an|by having an|having an} AR-15 assault weapon and multiple rounds of ammunition.

{The man|The person} said he {wanted to|desired to|wished to} kill Fauci, {because of|due to|as a result of} what {he said|he explained} was blood on the scientists’ hands.

Fauci then brandished a printout from Paul’s website that showed the banner “Fire Dr Fauci” {next to|alongside|close to} an invitation to {donate to|contribute to|subscribe to} the Republican’s campaign.

“{You are|You’re} {making a|creating a|building a} catastrophic epidemic {for your|for the} political gain,” he added.

The clash came as Covid overwhelms America’s {health care|healthcare|medical care} system, already stretched by the Delta variant and by mass staff resignations.

Though Omicron causes severe cases at {a lower|a diminished|a lowered|a lesser|less} rate than Delta, {it is|it’s} reaching {more people|more individuals|more folks} {because of its|due to the|due to its} extreme infectiousness.

{The latest|The most recent|The newest} data from New York state {shows that|suggests that|implies that|demonstrates} Covid vaccines {continue to|continue steadily to} {stand up|operate|remain true} well against severe outcomes.

By December 27, 4.6 vaccinated people per 100,000 were hospitalized {per week|each week|weekly} {compared to|in comparison to} 58.3 per 100,000 among unvaccinated people, for an age-adjusted vaccine efficacy against hospitalization of 92 percent.

There {has been a|is a|is a huge} decoupling {between the|involving the} rate of cases and hospitalizations {during the|throughout the|through the} Omicron wave {compared to|in comparison to} prior waves, but {the effect|the result|the consequence} {has not|hasn’t} been as strong as that {seen in|observed in|noticed in} Britain, {which was|that was|that has been} hit by Omicron first but {has a|includes a|features a} higher vaccination and boosted rate.

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