Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday there are no civil liberties or freedom concerns with coronavirus lockdowns.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stressed that the number of deaths and COVID-19 cases support restrictions, pushing back against any concerns over Americans’ freedom.
“This has nothing to do with liberties,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This is a public health issue. It is not a civil liberties issue.”
Dr. Fauci quarreled with Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, last week during a hearing. In an exchange that went viral, Mr. Jordan quizzed Dr. Fauci about what specific metric must be met for Americans’ to get their freedom back.
Dr. Fauci refused to give a specific answer and pushed back against the notion that liberty has been taken from Americans.
“Are we just going to continue this forever? When do we get to the point, what measure, what standard, what objective outcome do we have to reach before Americans get their liberties and freedom back?” Mr. Jordan asked.
“You’re indicating liberty and freedom. I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to the hospital,” Dr. Fauci responded.
“You don’t think Americans’ liberties have been threatened the last year, Dr. Fauci?” Mr. Jordan said. “They’ve been assaulted. Their liberties have.”
“I don’t look at this as a liberty thing, Congressman Jordan. I look at this as a public health thing,” Dr. Fauci said. “I disagree with you on that completely.”
Mr. Jordan said Americans’ First Amendment rights to attend church and assemble have been infringed by government curfews and mandates during the past year because of the coronavirus pandemic, partly blaming Dr. Fauci and his recommendations.
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