Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) questions Dr. Anthony Fauci during a hearing in Washington on Jan. 11, 2022. (Greg Nash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
The Epoch Times
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on March 14 introduced a measure that would eliminate Dr. Anthony Fauci’s position.
Fauci has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), since 1984.
Paul said the measure, proposed as an amendment to the government funding bill, is necessary because Fauci has become a “dictator-in-chief.”
“No one person should have unilateral authority to make decisions for millions of Americans,” Paul, a doctor, said in a statement, adding that one of his goals was “to ensure that ineffective, unscientific lockdowns and mandates are never foisted on the American people ever again.”
Fauci has recommended strict measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, including shutting down businesses deemed non-essential and imposing forced masking on children.
The measure would turn the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases into three separate institutes, with one focusing on allergic diseases, one focusing on infectious diseases, and one focusing on immunological diseases. The institutes would be part of the NIH.
The directors of the new institutes would each take a portion of the responsibilities Fauci currently has.
The directors would be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate for a single 5-year term.
Fauci was appointed to his post during the presidency of President Ronald Reagan, a Republican. Fauci was not confirmed by the Senate.
The amendment, if passed, “will create accountability and oversight into a taxpayer-funded position that has largely abused its power, and has been responsible for many failures and misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Paul said.
An NIH spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email that the agency does not comment on pending legislation.
Fauci and the institute he heads did not return requests for comment.
Paul’s office didn’t respond when asked if he has secured support for the measure from any colleagues.
Democrats control both chambers of Congress and have frequently praised Fauci throughout the pandemic, while Paul and many fellow Republicans have been increasingly critical of the doctor.
Former President Donald Trump leaned heavily on Fauci’s advice when the pandemic started and President Joe Biden tapped Fauci as his chief medical adviser upon taking office in 2021.
Fauci has said he made policy recommendations based on the scientific data at the time when each recommendation was made and that the science on the pandemic has repeatedly evolved.
The NIH has been reorganized before. In late 2011, Congress passed a funding act that abolished the National Center for Research Resources and created the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.