Hageman Pleased With Fauci Retirement; Calls For Investigation Over COVID Response

Harriet Hageman said she was happy to hear of Dr. Anthony Fauci's pending retirement. She also called for congressional hearings and investigations over Fauci's response to COVID-19.

Leo Wolfson

August 22, 20224 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Wyoming Republican U.S. House candidate Harriet Hageman is pleased that Dr. Anthony Fauci is stepping down.

“Almost everything that was wrong with the nation’s COVID-19 response can be traced back to Dr. Anthony Fauci,” Hageman said in a Monday press release, in response to Fauci’s announcement he will be stepping down in December.  

“When in American history has one unelected bureaucrat wielded so much power as to single-handedly crush the nation’s economy, steal more than a year of education from millions of children, cost people their jobs for declining to take an injection, and force honorable men and women out of the armed forces?” Hageman said.

Fauci has been running the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 and advising the White House as its chief medical advisor since 2020. He became a key face of the COVID-19 pandemic and a pop culture fixture, offering advice to former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden on what kind of health restrictions he thought was best for the safety of the American public. 

Hageman is calling for Congressional hearings and investigations into Fauci’s service. 

She claims Fauci lied about funding gain-of-function research, fought against blaming China for the virus, admitted he misled the public about mask use and contradicted himself on numerous occasions. 

“And then he had to nerve to say about himself, ‘I represent science,’” Hageman said. “Such breathtaking arrogance, from a man who obviously loved the fawning media attention, epitomizes everything that is wrong with the administrative state.” 

Fauci has had a history of over-predicting the severity of pandemics. Early in the AIDS epidemic he overstated how that disease can be spread, and in 2009, predicted the swine flu could infect as many as one in three Americans, significantly more than it ended up infecting.  

But he was beloved by many members of the American public for his willingness to provide frank and direct analysis of the COVID pandemic, particularly advocating for social distancing efforts. His face became adorned on holiday ornaments, socks, donuts, T-shirts and fan art, and restaurants named drinks after him.  

Fauci kept an amicable relationship with prior presidents but quickly fell into a strained relationship with Trump over the former president’s reluctance to enact health restrictions in response to the pandemic and Fauci’s willingness to refute Trump’s false claims.  

Early in the pandemic, Fauci said COVID was not a major threat to the American public but said public health officials needed to take it seriously. He also said in early March 2020 that wearing face masks was unnecessary. Trump and other members of the Republican Party criticized Fauci for these early missteps. 

In December 2020, Fauci was promoted to Chief Medical Advisor to the White House by Biden. Fauci said Biden’s election gave him a “liberating feeling” to speak freely about science without interference from the new administration. 

Fauci said he and his family have received death threats and during one Senate hearing, accused Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., of inciting these threats by spreading misinformation. Paul has endorsed Hageman in her campaign. He is in line to become chairman of the Senate Health Committee if Republicans win the majority in the upper chamber this fall. 

“I am hopeful that in the new Congress, with a new Republican majority, there will be investigations and hearings to look into exactly how decisions were made, what information was used, and how the American people were misled,” Hageman said. “And I trust that Dr. Fauci will be front and center.” 

After beating U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney last week in the primary election, Hageman will face Democrat Lynette Grey Bull in the general election. 

Other members of the U.S. Senate and House have also pledged to investigate Fauci. 

“To sum it up: Good riddance – and see you soon,” Hageman said.

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter