Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) repeated attempts to grandstand during a hearing with White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday escalated into a shouting match that concluded with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) scolding Jordan to “shut your mouth,” after which the congressman did.
During a House subcommittee hearing on the federal government’s COVID-19 response, Jordan repeatedly pressed Fauci about the timeline on loosening mitigation measures such as social distancing and wearing face masks. Jordan, predictably, framed his question as a matter of Americans regaining their “freedom” and “liberties.”
Fauci replied that the time to relax coronavirus restrictions will come — after more Americans are vaccinated and rates of infection no longer pose a threat.
A back-and-forth between Fauci and Jordan continued, with the Ohio congressman attempting to pin the nation’s top infectious disease expert down on a specific rate.
“We had 15 days of ‘slow the spread’ turn into one year of lost liberty,” Jordan said. “What metrics, what measures, what has to happen before Americans get more freedoms back?”
“I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to the hospital,” Fauci replied. “This will end, for sure, when we get the level of infection very low. It is now at such a high level, there is a threat again of major surges.”
The clash continued, with the White House chief medical adviser growing increasingly frustrated over Jordan “making this a personal thing” and the Ohio congressman denying the notion. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) then informed Jordan that his time had expired.
But Jordan refused to heed Clyburn, and turned his ire back to Fauci, asking again about COVID-19 restrictions. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) attempted to interject by thanking Clyburn for recognizing her as the next speaker, but Jordan attempted to plow through once again, attempting to grill Fauci over questions that he had already answered.
Waters interjected as she scolded Jordan from across the room.
“You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth,” Waters told Jordan.
Clyburn replied that he thinks Jordan “knows full well that we’re going to handle this,” before the Ohio congressman finally yielded his time and thanked Clyburn.
Watch the tense exchange below:
"You need to respect the chair, and shut your mouth!" — Maxine Waters to Jim Jordan pic.twitter.com/Zq216xX1Yi
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 15, 2021