Anthony Fauci, the leading virologist of the White House, had to endure this Friday the pressure of the Republican congressman Jim Jordan who tried on numerous occasions that the doctor linked the protests against racism with the increase in positives for coronavirus in United States.
But it failed. As much as he insisted on asking if Fauci considers that protests should be prohibited, the scientist did not go so far as to affirm such a thing and limited himself to saying the following:
″ Do protests spread the virus? I think I can make a general statement. Crowds, particularly when not wearing a mask, contribute to the spread of the virus. “
“Should protests be limited?” Insisted the Republican congressman. “I don’t think that is relevant,” Fauci replied.
“Well, he just said they increase the spread of the virus, I’m just asking: should we limit them?” Jordan said, interpreting the doctor’s words in his own way.
“I am not in a position to say what the government should do,” Fauci replied.
“You make all kinds of recommendations, you talk about meetings, about baseball, about everything you can imagine, I just ask you, you just said that protests increase contagion, should we limit them?”, Returned the congressman. .
Fauci insisted that this is not his field and that this must be left “to those who decide” on these matters, but Jordan continued to pressure the doctor, ensuring that religious acts are prohibited and that the right to demonstrate should prevail over the right to practice faith.
“I’m not favoring anyone over anyone, I’m just making a statement asking to avoid all kinds of crowds, it doesn’t matter where you are, because that favors the transmission and I don’t judge one crowd over another. When you are in a crowd, if you don’t wear a mask, that encourages contagions, “Fauci replied.
Jordan insisted again on the prohibition of religious acts and the doctor became angry. “I don’t know how many times I’m going to answer this, I’m not going to position myself on limiting anything, I’m going to say what the danger is and you can draw your own conclusions: you should stay away from the crowds, no matter where.”
The congressman continued to ask Fauci about how it seemed to him that there were people detained for not complying with the order not to open their businesses when there are people protesting. “I do not understand why he asks me, as a public health worker, to position me on who should be arrested or not. You can ask as many times as you want that I will not answer. ”
When Jordan again claimed that the doctor had linked the protests with the spread of the virus, Fauci was blunt: “I have said crowds, I have not said protests or anything. I haven’t said that, he’s putting words in my mouth that I haven’t said. I have no scientific evidence to prove that. What I can tell you is that we know that crowds, particularly when you don’t wear a mask, increase the spread of the virus. ”
IT MAY INTEREST YOU
This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.