Fauci Decries ‘Paradoxical’ GOP Vaccine Hesitancy After Jordan Feud

**FILED FROM CAMERA — PLEASE TONE, CROP & DOUBLE CHECK CAPTIONS•• The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis holds a hearing on the Capitol Hill in Washington, on Thursday, April 15, 2021. Amr Alfiky/The New York Times
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID and Chief Medical Advisor to the President, testifies at a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on April 15, 2021. (Photo by Amr Alfiky-Pool/Getty Images)

White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday expressed his frustration over vaccine hesitancy among Republicans, following his tense exchange with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) last week.

Last week, Jordan repeatedly pressed Fauci about the timeline on loosening mitigation measures such as social distancing and wearing face masks during a House subcommittee hearing on the federal government’s COVID-19 response. The Ohio congressman, predictably, framed his question as a matter of Americans regaining their “freedom” and “liberties.”

After Jordan attempted to keep grilling Fauci even after his time was up, the Ohio congressman finally yielded his time when Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) scolded him to “shut your mouth.”

Appearing on CNN on Sunday, Fauci was asked about a poll showing 43% of Republicans refusing to get vaccinated, in light of the shouting match he found himself in with Jordan last week.

Fauci replied that he finds vaccine hesitancy among Republicans “quite frustrating” because it “actually works against where they want to be.”

The White House chief medical adviser added that everyone, including Republicans, shares concerns about coronavirus restrictions based on public health recommendations. Fauci went on to stress that the elimination of restrictions will depend on getting as many people vaccinated as soon as possible.

“When that happens, for absolutely certain, you will see the level of virus in the community go down and down to the point where you would not have to have those public health restrictions,” Fauci said.

Fauci then decried the “almost paradoxical” rationale of Republicans who refuse to get vaccinated.

“On the one hand, they want to be relieved of the restrictions,” Fauci said. “On the other hand, they don’t want to be vaccinated. It almost doesn’t make any sense.”

Pressed on his tense exchange with Jordan last week, Fauci said that he doesn’t “enjoy those kinds of confrontations” and that Jordan made it “very clear” that he took issue with the restriction of so-called “liberties.”

“This has nothing to do with liberties,” Fauci said. “We’re talking about the fact that 560,000 people in our country have died. We’re talking about 70,000, 60-to-70 thousand new infections per day. That’s the issue. This is a public health issue. It’s not a civil liberties issue.”

Watch Fauci’s remarks below:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: