Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading figure in America’s battle against COVID-19 testified to Congress that the six-feet distancing rule “sort of just appeared.” [Source]
Speaking to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, Fauci revealed that the six-feet distancing rule was “likely not based on scientific data.” This acknowledgment raises questions about the decision-making processes in public health policies during the pandemic.
Echoing a sentiment of skepticism, Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health and a former COVID response coordinator for President Biden, expressed his doubts to the New York Times in March 2021. “It never struck me that six feet was particularly sensical in the context of mitigation,” he said, expressing his wish for the CDC to clarify that social distancing was not a major issue.
The Massachusetts schools study, which found negligible differences in COVID case rates between three feet and six feet of distancing, was brought up during the questioning. Dr. Fauci acknowledged this study, noting that the CDC was “very carefully” reviewing the data and would “likely” update its recommendations accordingly.
The interview, according to Wenstrup, not only revealed public health system flaws but also highlighted a troubling trend of suppressing dissenting opinions and failing to consider alternative viewpoints.
Wenstrup’s remarks were particularly critical of the influence of such guidelines on vaccination mandates in schools and businesses. He expressed concerns that the policies advocated by Dr. Fauci could inadvertently fuel vaccine hesitancy for years to come. [Source]
The subcommittee’s members, including Rep. Michael Cloud (R-TX), voiced frustration with Dr. Fauci’s recollections, or lack thereof, regarding crucial COVID-19 information. “They wash their hands of any sort of responsibility, saying, ‘Oh, those decisions were made by school districts.’ But the school districts know, if you don’t follow the guidance that’s coming out of the federal government, you open yourselves up to lawsuits,” said Cloud.
Republican staff members pointed out that Dr. Fauci admitted the possibility of increased vaccine hesitancy due to the pandemic’s vaccine mandates.
Notably, Fauci had advised US colleges to impose vaccine mandates on students during the pandemic, arguing that stringent measures were necessary to overcome ideological resistance to vaccination.
The COVID select subcommittee is set to hear further testimony from Dr. Fauci in a public hearing later this year, which is anticipated to shed more light on these issues.
Meanwhile, Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), the top Democrat on the subcommittee, criticized the majority’s handling of the interview with Dr. Fauci, labeling it an “extreme fishing expedition” and advocating for the full transcript’s public release.
The committee plans to release the full transcripts of the interview after review by both majority and minority staff.