‘Preposterous!’ Fauci Fires Back at Sen. Ron Johnson’s Claim He ‘Overhyped’ AIDS and Covid

Dr. Anthony Fauci responded to Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-Wisc.) absurd assertion that Fauci “overhyped” both the AIDS crisis and Covid-19 pandemic, saying the senator’s claim is “preposterous.”

“How do you respond to something as preposterous as that?” the doctor asked incredulously. “Overhyping AIDS? It’s killed over 750,000 Americans and 36 million people worldwide. How do you overhype that? Overhyping COVID? It’s already killed 780,000 Americans and over five million people worldwide.”

In a podcast interview with Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday, Johnson accused Fauci of using the virus to keep Americans afraid, making them easier to control. “You want to create a state of fear, to keep us in a state of fear, to maintain the controls, and that’s what you see here in the United States. By the way, Fauci did the exact same thing with AIDS,” Johnson said. “He overhyped it. He created all kinds of fear, saying it could affect the entire population, when it couldn’t. And he’s doing — he’s using the exact same playbook for Covid.”

Johnson’s comments came just two days after Fox News host Lara Logan compared Fauci to Dr. Josef Mengele, who was nicknamed the “Angel of Death” for his sadistic experiments on Auschwitz prisoners during the Holocaust. Fauci has long been a target of conservatives, ever since he started pushing back on Donald Trump’s lies about Covid.

During his CNN appearance, Fauci also discussed the Omicron variant, which has now been discovered in at least 15 U.S. states, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky. Even though it has reached the U.S., Fauci said in many respects it is still too soon to “make any definitive statements about” Omicron.

“The question for us here in the United States, now that it is clearly here in at least 15 or more states and in about 40 countries, is, what is it going to be as it competes with a very dominant variant, Delta, which we have 99.9 percent of the isolates in the United States are Delta?” the doctor said, adding, “What’s going to happen when you have those two competing with each other? It’s going to be very interesting to do what we’re doing now, watching it.”

When Tapper asked whether vaccines will be less effective against Omicron, Fauci said that although the vaccines were developed against the initial strain, so far with Delta, we’ve seen the vaccines’ protection “spills over to protect against other variants” as long as a person has high enough antibodies and general immune protection.

“So, we’re getting quite good protection against Delta when you’re vaccinated, and particularly when you get boostered,” Fauci said. “And that’s the reason why we’re saying, even with a new variant like Omicron, if you get boosted, you’re going to get your level up way up, and we feel certain that there will be a some degree, and maybe a considerable degree, of protection against the Omicron variant, if, in fact, it starts to take hold in a dominant way in this country.”

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