Republican lawmakers and other prominent conservatives have revved up their efforts on Wednesday via Twitter and other social media outlets to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci following the release of an email revealing that Fauci believed face masks were “not really effective in keeping out virus” in February 2020.
In an email by Fauci to Sylvia Burwell, presumed to be the same Sylvia Burwell who served as U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration, was sent on February 5, 2020, more than a month before the pandemic was declared. The contents of the private correspondence, one of many emails obtained by Buzzfeed News and The Washington Post, did not significantly differ from Fauci’s public views on masks at the time.
Fauci, who is currently President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, told Burwell that she did not need to wear a mask during an upcoming trip, particularly because she was “going to a very low risk location.” He explained that store-bought masks were “really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected, rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection.”
Around two months later, when more was known about the transmission of Covid and the effectiveness of masks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their guidelines to recommend mask wearing. Fauci followed suit at that point and he himself, starting recommending the wearing of masks. This correspondence has been taken as evidence by some that Fauci was intentionally deceptive on masks. That has resulted in a flood of renewed calls for his dismissal on social media as shown:
“Told you… #FireFauci,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted. “Can’t wait to see the media try to spin the Fauci FOIA emails.”
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) June 2, 2021″It’s time to fire Fauci! Emails that have been released now under Freedom of Information Act show two very important things: 1. FAUCI has been lying 2. I’ve been right all along,” Paul later added in a tweet to his personal account, followed by a donation link.
It’s time to fire Fauci! Emails that have been released now under Freedom of Information Act show two very important things:
1. Fauci has been lying
2. I’ve been right all along
Fauci’s leaked emails are shocking to say the least. He needs to be FIRED!
I introduced a bill to do just that … HR 2316, the “Fire Fauci Act”. — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) June 2, 2021
Fauci was WRONG on: – AIDS (look it up) – Masks – The Wuhan lab,” conservative radio host and former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka tweeted. “Has he ever been right and anything? #FireFauci.”
Fauci was WRONG on:
– AIDS (look it up)
– The Wuhan lab.
Has he every been right and anything?#FireFauci— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) May 27, 2021
“We’ve been needing to #FireFauci for months now, but after these #FauciEmails we simply cannot wait another day,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) tweeted. “How many lives could have been saved if these people were worried about science rather than PR?”
We’ve been needing to #FireFauci for months now, but after these #FauciEmails we simply cannot wait another day.
How many lives could have been saved if these people were worried about science rather than PR?— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) June 2, 2021
“No surprise here!” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) tweeted while sharing an image of Fauci’s email to Burwell. “#FireFauci.”
No surprise here! #FireFauci https://t.co/Ggz9tXXhZF— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) June 2, 2021
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) tweeted only the hashtag #FireFauci alongside a copy the Burwell email. Scott T. Parkinson, vice president of government affairs at the conservative group Club for Growth, also shared the Burwell email alongside the #FauciEmails and #FireFauci hashtags.
Thousands of pages of Fauci’s emails were released under the Freedom of Information Act. Fauci does not appear to have himself expressed views that were inconsistent with his public statements on COVID-19 at the time in any of the emails.
One of the other exchanges highlighted by Fauci opponents was an email from Kristian G. Andersen, director of the Scripps Research Institute, who wrote to Fauci that some of the virus’ features “(potentially) look engineered” on January 31, 2020.
Andersen’s research team later investigated the possibility and published a paper in the journal Nature Medicine that concluded it was implausible that the virus was engineered. On Tuesday, Andersen commented on Twitter that his email to Fauci was “a clear example of the scientific process.”
As I have said many times, we seriously considered a lab leak a possibility.
However, significant new data, extensive analyses, and many discussions led to the conclusions in our paper.