The good doctor is not here for Ron Johnson's ridiculous COVID politics.
Politicization of a virus that literally does not care whether you voted for Biden or Trump has already widely been blamed for prolonging the pandemic. But apparently, the needless deaths, mostly of unvaccinated people — including those who outright refused the vaccine — wasn’t enough to deter Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson from further widening the partisan chasm over COVID and claiming that Anthony Fauci “overhyped” AIDS, just as he’s done with COVID. Fauci, however, did not have time for Johnson’s BS, calling the accusation “preposterous” on CNN’s State of the Union yesterday.
On Fox News host Brian Kilmeade’s podcast last week, the Republican senator — who’s often criticized efforts to curb COVID — said that public health officials were trying to use the pandemic to “create a state of fear,” in order to “maintain control,” per The Daily Beast.
“Fauci did the exact same thing with AIDS. He overhyped it,” Johnson told Kilmeade, referring to Fauci’s leadership during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s. “He’s using the exact same playbook with COVID: ignoring therapy, pushing a vaccine.” No matter that the FDA has cautioned against using hydroxychloroquine — the drug Johnson’s accused the media of downplaying — for COVID, or that study after study has shown COVID-19 vaccines to be effective at preventing the disease.
“You know, Jake, how do you respond to something as preposterous as that?” Fauci said when CNN anchor Jake Tapper asked him to comment on Johnson’s “bizarre and false assertion.” The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases sounded rightfully flabbergasted at the notion of “overhyping” AIDS, a disease that killed over 750,000 Americans and 36 million people across the globe.
He was just as exasperated at the possibility of “overhyping” COVID. “Overhyping COVID?” he demanded. “It’s already killed 780,000 Americans and over 5 million people worldwide, so I don’t have any clue what [Johnson’s] talking about.”
“I don’t think he does, either,” Tapper said — exactly what everyone else who understands the pandemic as a matter of public health, not politics, was thinking.
Conservatives have increasingly skewered Fauci amid the recent emergence of the Omicron variant, The Daily Beast reported. Earlier this month, Fox Nation host Lara Logan likened him to Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who experimented on concentration camp prisoners during World War II, a comparison Fauci blasted as “preposterous” and “an insult” to all who suffered under Nazi rule. Sadly, Johnson is only one example of a GOP troll who knows no bottom.