Fauci claims administration’s response has been ‘very good,’ President’s COVID response approval rating under water
WASHINGTON—During a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee hearing on addressing new variants of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) questioned Dr. Anthony Fauci about the Biden administration’s response to the emergence of new variants of COVID. Dr. Fauci named the person “in charge” of the administration’s COVID response as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients, and in an incredibly out of touch answer, Dr. Fauci stated the administration has done a ‘very good job.’ Earlier today, Obama-era Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called the Biden administration’s COVID response a ‘testing mess’ as cases continue to surge across the country.
Excerpts from Senator Tuberville’s remarks can be found below, and his full line of questioning can be viewed here.
On Inconsistent COVID Guidelines
TUBERVILLE: “This administration has been in charge of the federal COVID response for a year. I have to say I don’t think it’s been a job well done. Our federal government not only sets a tone in the guidance for how millions of Americans should be handling COVID, we set a standard for the world. Our information has to be correct. I continue to hear that we need to follow the science—and I agree. But we have to yet hear the clarity from this administration. We are conflicting guidelines across the board. In order to be effective, guidance has to be understood and implemented by the average American. But most Americans can’t make heads or tails of anything coming out of this administration. So, we are all of us failing this test.”
On the Need for Transparent Response Efforts
TUBERVILLE: “We’ve heard that the FDA and President Biden say that 55 years will be needed to share data related to a lot of those decisions. But we will have to investigate. This group will have to investigate and have the information before 2076. Heck, most of us won’t be here in 2076. This investigation will look into who had authority to make decisions. I know there are more people making decisions behind the scenes.”
On Failed Testing, Therapeutic Development, and Leadership
TUBERVILLE: “This administration took office with three successful vaccines and numerous effective therapeutics and basically drove the response into a ditch. At times, it doesn’t seem like anyone is in charge. You started the year by dismantling Operation Warp speed, canceling contracts for monoclonal antibodies, underinvesting in testing, and we’ve spent billions in that, first with Delta and then with Omicron. People can’t find a test….We’ve spent billions on this. If we can’t find a test and test positive, they can’t get treatment. Monoclonal antibodies are rationed, antiviral pills are months away, so I just gotta simple question, ‘Who is the head coach of this virus you have to go to, whether it’s in the administration, whether it’s one of you. Dr. Fauci, who do we go to?’
FAUCI: “The person who’s in charge of that is Jeff Zients…”
TUBERVILLE: “Has he done a good job?”
FAUCI: “You know I think given the circumstances we’re in right now, I think he’s done a very good job.”
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees