In an op-ed penned for The Washington Examiner published on Saturday,Republican congressmen Andy Biggs of Arizona and Ken Buck of Colorado ripped into Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci recently said that it is “inconvenient from a societal standpoint, from an economic standpoint” to go through the coronavirus, which speaks volumes about how he views the entire crisis, according to Biggs and Buck. According to the lawmakers, the expert’s statement revealed a “special degree of tone deafness.”
In the op-ed, the congressmen pointed to devastating economic data, which shows that around 17 million Americans have already filed for unemployment benefits. The economy is crashing because of the measures imposed by the government, Biggs and Buck wrote, but Fauci claims that going through the pandemic is simply an “inconvenience” for the country.
“We have heard Fauci say the economic cost and societal impacts of his policies were not considered when he devised his epidemic response plan,” the lawmakers wrote, arguing that Fauci’s proposed solutions to the pandemic may end up harming the country more than the virus itself.
“But the question is whether the medicine he prescribed will prove to be more harmful than the disease in the long term.”
According to the congressmen, once “the hysteria subsides” it will be too late, and President Donald Trump‘s administration will no longer be able to fix the economy. According to the Republicans, Fauci no longer deserves to be “one of the primary voices” in the government.
The congressmen also argued that it is not only Fauci that has made mistakes. Dr. Deborah Birx, the Coronavirus Response Coordinator appointed by Trump, needs to consider “the economic destruction” instead of arguing that it is not safe to reopen the country.
“Fauci and Birx have indicated pretty strongly that they do not consider the greater needs of the country,” the lawmakers wrote, concluding that public health experts should step aside, and let Trump gradually reopen the country.
Trump has been sending conflicting signals on reopening the economy. During daily press briefings at the White House, the president has repeatedly suggested that he wants the country to resume normal activity as soon as possible, but he has also vowed to listen to the experts.
According to public health experts, reopening the economy too soon could backfire. Not only would doing so likely lead to another outbreak of coronavirus, the government would be forced to impose even harsher restrictions, further devastating the economy, experts claim.