Should Fauci be a primary focus of a potential investigation into America’s failures in its COVID19 pandemic response? If so, why? What do you make of his recent statement that “[this would be] the Benghazi hearings all over again”?

tl;dr – Fauci’s role in America’s response to COVID19 has been a major target of criticism from the right. Should Fauci be a focus of a potential COVID19 “9/11 style” investigation? What do you make of his statement “[this would be] the Benghazi hearings all over again” in response to Senator Rand Paul’s insistence on investigating him?

Here is an article from the Washington Post describing the situation and context (and here is WaPo’s profile on AllSides, who determined they have a “Lean Left” bias). Briefly, we are closer than ever to Congress authorizing a “9/11-style” task force that would investigate America’s failures in responding to COVID19. However, the investigation’s proposed goals are increasingly polarized along partisan lines; for example, the article mentions:

In April, the House set up its select subcommittee focused on the virus; it was framed as a bipartisan endeavor to oversee trillions of dollars in federal spending in congressional rescue packages, but it increasingly focused on Trump administration missteps in the run-up to the 2020 election.

Meanwhile, Republicans such as Marshall have increasingly trained their own probes on Fauci, the career government official who has become a scapegoat in conservative media after more than a year of concerted attacks.

Personally, I’ve been fascinated and bewildered by the “Fauci fixation”, and the increasingly condemnatory rhetoric directed his way, for well over a year now. To give you an idea of what I’m referring to, here’s a quote from Rand Paul back in December:

“If we take over the Senate next year, I’ll be chairman of the health committee, and I pledge to use the subpoena power to get every last record about the origin of the virus, about Fauci.”

…and some additional context from the WaPo article…

Paul on Monday also introduced legislation seeking to eliminate Fauci’s position at the National Institutes of Health, claiming that the longtime federal official has accumulated too much power, although the amendment failed to pass the Senate health panel Tuesday.

For this question I want to focus on a quote from Fauci’s reaction, which has been making the rounds in the right-wing media. As stated in the WaPo article (emphasis mine):

In an interview, Fauci addressed the possibility of Republicans’ retaking Congress and what it would mean for his work.“It’s Benghazi hearings all over again,” Fauci said, referring to the GOP-led investigations of Hillary Clinton’s leadership of the State Department during the 2012 attacks on U.S. compounds in Libya. That long-running investigation found no new evidence of wrongdoing by Clinton but was a staple of conservative media for years. “They’ll try to beat me up in public, and there’ll be nothing there,” Fauci added. “But it will distract me from doing my job, the way it’s doing right now.”

Most of the reactions I see on the right have condemned this response and supported investigating Fauci specifically for various reasons, from “he should be investigated just in case” to “he intentionally started the pandemic to destroy America”. As I mentioned before, I am bewildered by the Fauci fixation and hope to understand why so many on the right are so invested in investigating him. Some questions:

  • Do you have any immediate reactions to Fauci saying the investigation would be “Benghazi all over again”? For example, do you think his comparison to Benghazi was accurate or misleading, or that an investigation would make his job more difficult?
  • In general, what do you make of Fauci’s performance throughout the pandemic?
  • Should Fauci be a primary focus of the potential investigation? If so, what should the goals of that investigation be?
  • What has Fauci done to warrant such intense scrutiny, if anything? (Note that the WaPo article covers some of the major accusations from the right, like the scientifically dubious allegations that the virus was manmade were actually Fauci strongarming scientists to cover-up its origin as a bioweapon, or that Fauci corruptly suppressed that and related information to “stay in the limelight” / “maintain control of the narrative” / “not give up his influence” and that this exacerbated America’s COVID19 death toll, or that Fauci was involved in releasing the virus for corrupt political reasons such as kickbacks from China — feel free to comment on these or anything else you believe warrants investigation.)
  • Senator Rand Paul accused Fauci of “accumulating too much power” – what power might Senator Paul be referring to, and why should it be curtailed? Do you agree or disagree with Senator Paul on this topic?
  • Regardless of whether Fauci deserves investigation or not, are there more important goals the investigation should focus on before Fauci? For example, flaws in how America monitored / reported COVID19 epidemiological data (e.g. cases, deaths, variants)?
  • Similarly, should anyone else be scrutinized alongside Fauci (e.g. Dr. Deborah Birx, POTUS Trump, Mike Pence, etc.)?

submitted by /u/Option2401
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