House Republicans are gearing up to question former chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci in a closed-door session next week, focusing on accusations that he influenced the government to suppress debate on vital public health issues during the pandemic.
Fauci, often referred to as the “face of the pandemic,” will be questioned by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic about his role in policy decisions that affected businesses, churches, and civic organizations, the Washington Examiner reported Friday.
Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) intends to examine Fauci’s shifting positions on mask efficacy and vaccine mandates, along with the broader impact of federal actions on the doctor-patient relationship.
Wenstrup, a physician and co-chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus, aims to uncover “lessons learned” from the pandemic response, emphasizing the need for a transparent and trusted public health system.
“When it comes to your health, no one knows better than you and your doctor, but the doctors have to be provided with accurate data, correct information, and honest information to be able to have a scientific debate,” said Wenstrup to the Examiner.
Democrats, however, view the Republicans’ approach as politically motivated, aiming to vilify public health officials and propagate a conspiratorial narrative. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), the subcommittee’s ranking member, criticizes the focus on a lab-origin theory for the virus, suggesting it’s part of a broader extremist agenda.
The testimony is also expected to delve into the alleged stifling of academic debate in medicine, particularly concerning the threatened revocation of licenses for doctors prescribing treatments like ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine. Wenstrup believes this suppression contradicts the principles of science and medicine he knows.
Despite supporting mRNA COVID-19 vaccines himself, Wenstrup plans to question Fauci on the rationale behind vaccine mandates, reflecting Americans’ general aversion to compliance without explanation.
“To me, a lot of this is not so much of any type of interrogation — although some of it probably will seem that way,” Wenstrup stated. “We’re trying to find lessons learned, so it’s a conversation to [establish] exactly what happened [and] why were decisions made.”
The process of scheduling Fauci’s interview has been challenging, reflecting broader difficulties in obtaining information from the Department of Health and Human Services. Republicans previously subpoenaed top HHS officials over the department’s failure to provide requested data on the origins of SARS-CoV-2, accusing the department of obfuscation and likening it to Soviet-style governance.