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Bill Straub: Dr. Anthony Fauci isn’t perfect, but Rand Paul and company’s accusatory antics cross the line

I’m tired of morons.

Now, by moron, I don’t mean the Curley of the Three Stooges sort who at least provide a modicum of entertainment. I’m referring to anyone who allegedly has exhibited at least a fair amount of intelligence yet insists on appearing before God and everybody to issue inane statements, act self-satisfied in doing so, and renders himself or herself the subject of ridicule.

These folks, in addition to being morons, are variously known as dopes, schmucks and, in Shakespeare’s time, fools.

And they are also known as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, and state Rep. Regina Huff, R-Williamsburg, chair of the House Education Committee, which, under her, would appear to be a misnomer.

Now, we’ve been through the Rand Paul cataclysm numerous times over the past 11 years and the boy’s resume never improves with age, which means he’ll likely win a third term in overwhelming fashion next year.

Paul in recent months has, for some peculiar reason, decided to wage a one-man rampage against the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, refusing inoculation despite entreaties for him to do so, insisting he is free as a bird from the malady because he has already succumbed. He rages against requirements to wear masks to halt the spread, screams about the economic shutdown the pandemic forced and insists the United States has reached herd immunity, which essentially means enough people have either been vaccinated or contracted the virus to halt further spread. Very few experts say the nation has reached that point.

Let’s call time out for a minute. More than 615,000 have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. Imagine, if you will, our boy Rand had proved successful in his 2016 presidential campaign and was re-elected last year. How many people do you imagine would have died as a result of his inaction and animosity toward any efforts to bring the pandemic under control? The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. But one epidemiologist from the Imperial College of London estimated that the absence of drastic and coordinated government action would result in 2.2 million U.S. deaths.

The NKyTribune’s Washington columnist Bill Straub served 11 years as the Frankfort Bureau chief for The Kentucky Post. He also is the former White House/political correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service. A member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, he currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland, and writes frequently about the federal government and politics. Email him at williamgstraub@gmail.com

Now back to our regular programming.

Somewhere along the way Paul decided he doesn’t much care for Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to President Biden, who has emerged as the face of the federal government in the fight against COVID-19. Paul his persistently gone after Fauci like Lt. Gerard pursuing Dr. Richard Kimble, throwing all sorts of whackadoodle claims at the wall hoping something sticks.

It’s really quite unseemly. But we’re talking about Sen. Rand Paul, who brings whole new joie de vivre to the term unseemly.

Paul’s latest Javert-like escapade shows him accusing Fauci of lying to Congress last May when he denied that the U.S. funded so-called “gain of function’’ research at a virology lab in Wuhan, China.

Gain of function involves making viruses more contagious or deadly in order to aid the process of developing a vaccine. Paul and others maintain the pandemic is the result of a leak or release of a gain of function modified virus from this Wuhan virology lab.

Fauci has testified before a congressional committee that he and other researchers do not believe a lab leak was the cause, asserting that it was more likely biologically transmitted. Regardless, Fauci has insisted that, while the U.S. has sent funding to the Wuhan lab for virus research, it specifically prohibited the money to be used for gain of function.

On May 19, the National Institute of Health issued a statement that the past financial support provided to the Wuhan lab was intended to better understand viruses in bats and mammals. It has never approved any grant that would make COVID-19 more transmissible and lethal.

But Paul insists he is in possession of a paper produced by scientists at the Wuhan lab describing the development of coronaviruses altered by researchers that was funded by the NIH. That process, he maintains, fits the definition of gain of function.

“Dr. Fauci, as you’re aware, it is a crime to lie to Congress,” Paul said in that smarmy manner he has developed to perfection. He then asked Fauci if he wanted to retract previous statements.

“This paper that you’re referring to was judged by qualified staff, up and down the chain, as not being gain of function,” Fauci said, adding subsequently, “Sen. Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about.”
That, of course, failed to jibe with Paul’s narrative. He wasn’t through, proceeding to essentially accuse Fauci of somehow being responsible for mass international deaths.

“You’re trying to obscure responsibility for 4 million people dying around the world from a pandemic,” Paul said.

Fauci responded: “You are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individuals. I totally resent that, and If anyone is lying here senator, it is you.”

Now, you may have noticed Paul is asserting that the Wuhan lab leak/release theory is a fact. It is not. Further investigation obviously is required but most researchers who have studied the data pour cold water on the idea. And holding Fauci responsible for the deaths of millions of individuals worldwide, including more than 617,000 in the United States, is abusive and absurd.

Regardless, our boy Paul has announced he intends to ask the Department of Justice to undertake a criminal investigation into Fauci, asserting on Fox News that, “We have scientists that were lined up by the dozens to say that the research he was funding was gain-of-function.”

That’s nice. The NIH has info that provides otherwise. Good luck with that.

Then we have Huff, who apparently considers herself such a clever girl.

Huff posted a meme on Twitter recently that depicted Jim Jones, the infamous leader of the Peoples Temple in Guyana involved in the mass murder/suicide of his adherents following the on-site murder of Congressman Leo Ryan, of California, in 1978.

Beneath Jones’ photo were the words, “”I persuaded over 900 people to drink my Koolaid.”
Next to Jones was a photo of Fauci. Emblazoned across the bottom of said picture was a single word – “Amateur”.

Included in the meme was a message from Huff: “”Some will cavil, they will not be able to help themselves.”

Huff, evidently realizing at some point that she had exceeded all possible bounds of decency, removed the hideous message but an enterprising reporter for The Courier Journal in Louisville managed to save a screenshot.

With her hand deep in the cookie jar, Huff told NBC News that the post was only intended to criticize the requirement that students wear masks when they return to school in the fall. She asserted that “we can’t be led by fear’’ and that kids need to head back to classes “with some type of normalcy.”
To quote Twain, “Even a burglar could have said it better than that.”

This is hooey so deep and unbelievable it’s an embarrassment to read. Is she saying requiring students to wear a mask in school is analogous to 900 souls dying from drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid in Guyana? Is she saying students are going to die because they have to wear masks and that is the goal Fauci is trying to achieve? Why bring up Jim Jones at all unless you’re trying to say Fauci is responsible for killing people? What in the name of all that’s holy could a mass murder/suicide in Guyana 43 years ago have anything to do with wearing masks in school?

No. Come on. Give me a break.

As Forest Gump famously said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

And this woman is chair of the House Education Committee.

Huff said she didn’t intend to associate Fauci with a mass murder/suicide. What did she think she was doing, playing beanbag?

Fauci is not perfect. And like everyone else in public life he is open to criticism. He’s been wrong – folks were initially warned not to touch doorknobs out of fear of contracting the virus.

But most of the mistakes were the result of groping in the dark. Neither Fauci nor anyone else had any idea what we were dealing with at the outset of this pandemic and overwhelming caution was the only responsible path. Changes in medical science are based on increased knowledge. When people kept on dying from infections, it was Joseph Lister who figured out you might want to keep things clean when you’re cutting into people.

The fight continues and it’s insane to think the reasoning of morons – and you know who they are – outweighs the considerations of experts like Fauci.

Good night. Kentucky sure can pick ‘em.

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  1. Richard says:

    Talk about foolishness. What fool sends money to an adversary and trusts them to use it responsibly? We have known for years that China is stealing intellectual property and wants to supplant the United States as the sole superpower. Fauci should be fired for this mistake alone.

  2. Cynthia A Mandello says:

    Dear God, these idiots continue to make Kentucky a laughing stock to the rest of the civilized world.

    Maybe we could ALLOW, even encourage Eastern
    KY to secede? That would take care of most of our ignorant (Circuit Clerk Davis included) rantings. Rand Paul is in a category all his own…cowardly bully, moved here from Texas. I would NEVER have thought a REAL KENTUCKIAN would have ever voted for a DUKE graduate…

  3. Brenda Payne says:

    What is it about voters in Kentucky who elect and re-elect these goofballs? These two are an embarrassment to Kentucky. And there are probably others as well.

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