Claytoonz: Fauci pummels Rand Paul
You would think something like an international pandemic would be the sort of thing that unites us across political lines. And it has…in every country on the planet except this one. Here in the United States, it’s been politicized by the Right to attack the people who are working to save us, and cast them as villains.
The Right has made medical professionals, teachers, scientists, and most of all, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the bad guys throughout all of this. Dr. Anthony Fauci is the chief medical adviser on the coronavirus and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Republicans have accused him of everything from creating mandates to shutting down businesses to murdering Beagles to creating the virus. No one has been more vile and despicable with this than U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. Every time Fauci has to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
In yesterday’s installment of Rand Paul’s lies and gaslighting, he accused Fauci of orchestrating a smear campaign against right-wing “academics” who opposed shutdown measures in 2020. This would be like Paul laughing at Bozo the Clown’s hair. As it turns out, the emails Paul was using to make his case only showed that Fauci sent colleagues a link to a Wired article debunking claims about reaching “herd immunity.”
Then, Fauci exposed Paul for his attacks and raising campaign money off the pandemic.
Dr. Fauci said Sen. Paul’s lies and attacks on him have endangered the lives of him and his family. Fauci pointed out the arrest of a California man in Iowa last month who police said was traveling to Washington with an AR-15 rifle and multiple magazines of ammunition. The man allegedly had a “hit list” including Fauci and several others, mostly Democratic politicians. Where do you think these people get this hatred?
A few months ago, I was in a bar on a late afternoon getting some street tacos when Fauci came on the television. The man sitting next to me started ranting about Fauci and told me the doctor was responsible for killing people and was a murderer. Yes, I called the man out, but more to the point, this gaslighting and villainization is dangerous. Most goons will be like that bar idiot, talking stupid shit he doesn’t even know anything about. But then there are the guys like the would-be assassin caught in Iowa. It’s not the first time someone was inspired by conspiracy theories to go to Washington, D.C. with a hit list. Hello? Remember Pizzagate? Do we not learn anything or do we just not care? Probably both.
Rand Paul doesn’t care if he endangers anybody’s life. This jerk roamed around the Capitol complex while waiting for the results of a COVID test. He risked infecting hundreds if not thousands of people.
Fauci brought photocopies of Paul’s website and pointed out he was making money from his attacks. The website contains a graphic saying “Fire Dr. Fauci” and Fauci noted out, “a little box that says 'contribute here.'”
Pointing out the details on the website, Fauci said to Rand Paul, “You can do $5, $10, $20, $100. So you are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political gain.”
Every time Fauci has to testify before this committee, Rand Paul uses it to raise his political profile with the MAGAt base. Most news outlets’ headlines on yesterday’s hearing focused on the real story, Fauci fighting back against Paul. But Fox News’ headline says, “Rand Paul Rips Fauci.” Everything that goon in the taco bar knows about the coronavirus and Fauci that’s not GOP and Fox News bullshit, he learned from me.
Paul responded saying it’s “disappointing for you to suggest that people who dare to question you are responsible somehow for violent threats.” Then, I’m not making this up, Paul sent out another mass fundraising email with the headline, “Fauci is hysterical.”
Rand Paul said in a statement after the hearing that he was one of the lawmakers at the baseball practice in which Republican congressman Steve Scalise and others were shot in 2017. Reports showed the shooter was a Bernie fan, and Paul said, “I never once accused Sen. Sanders of being responsible for the attack and I resent Fauci avoiding the question by ginning up the idea that his opponents are the cause of threats.” Except, Bernie Sanders never gaslighted or lied about Steve Scalise…if he’s ever said his name. Bernie Sanders never sent out mass fundraising emails containing debunked conspiracy theories accusing people of creating and weaponizing viruses. The Waterboy’s mama ginned up for more hate against a sport than Bernie Sanders ever has when she said, “Foosball is the devil.”
Also, the only person who said stuff that incited Rand Paul’s neighbor to kick his ass (true story) was Rand Paul. To be fair, if you lived next door to Rand Paul, you’d probably wanna kick his ass too.
Later in the hearing, Fauci was caught on his mic calling another Republican senator a “moron.”
Sen. Roger Marshall, a Republican from Kansas, cited a Forbes story reporting that Fauci is the highest-paid federal employee, earning $434,312 in 2020. Marshall told Fauci that he needed to disclose his personal finances to the public.
Fauci said, “I don’t understand why you’re asking me that question. “My financial disclosure is public knowledge and has been so for the last 37 years or so.”
Marshall claimed the “big tech giants” won’t let anyone see Fauci’s salary…even though the Forbes article is literally on the Internet and came up on the first page of a Google search. There’s also an article in The Week, and another in the New York Post, and another on Yahoo, and another in the Daily Mail, and another in The Independent, etc, etc… Each of those articles were on the first page of my Google search. Despite all these articles, Marshall said, “We’ll continue to look for it. Where would we find it?” Kansas has the internet, right?
Fauci told the senator, “”All you have to do is ask for it. You’re so misinformed, it’s extraordinary.” And then, Fauci muttered, “What a moron. Jesus Christ.”
Marshall released a statement that calling him a “moron” didn’t change the facts about Fauci funding “gain-of-function.”
Yeah, calling Sen. Roger Marshall a “moron” doesn’t change the fact that he is a moron.
If Sen. Roger Marshall wants to get to the bottom of a public servant’s finances that were truly hidden, then he should have looked down the bench and questioned Rand Paul about his wife’s investment, $15,000, into the company that makes remdesivir, a drug made to treat COVID, and that they failed to report for a year and a half.
Marshall will probably never read that story because it’s on the Internet.
And, they wonder why so many people want to assault them.
Music note: I didn’t listen to anything while drawing this one.
Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning, and won a 2021 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at Claytoonz.com.