'Very Dynamic': Marjorie Taylor Greene Praised in Georgia Despite Fears She'll Hurt GOP in Midterms
"If that were me up there, I'd be doing the same thing," said one attendee at the Georgia Republican Convention.Greene, a freshman congresswoman, was formally stripped of her House committee assignments in early February over her promotion of bizarre conspiracy theories and social media posts that suggested she approved of violence against some of her congressional colleagues. More recently, she was condemned for comparing masks and COVID-19 vaccines to the Holocaust. Meanwhile, Democrats aim to use the backlash against Greene to help them maintain the House and Senate in the 2022 midterms.
WASHINGTON — One after another, some of the most conservative members of the House of Representatives took to the stage at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday to denounce Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top medical adviser to President Biden, and to air other pandemic-related grievances.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who was introducing a bill to reduce Fauci’s salary to $0 and have him account for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, led the attacks. The proposed legislation, called the Fire Fauci Act, stands no chance of passage in a House controlled by Democrats.
Nevertheless, the highly vituperative affair — replete with reminders that Fauci was an “unelected bureaucrat” — was indicative of how the bespectacled, Brooklyn-born immunologist continues to be at the center of every ongoing debate related to the coronavirus, including the economic costs of lockdowns (low, says a new study, though there are, of course, social and psychic costs to isolation) and the efficacy of wearing masks (exceptionally high, the discomfort of masking aside).
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Some candidates continue to embrace the conspiracy theory, with others are distancing themselves from their apparent support.According to analysis from Media Matters, there are currently 21 candidates who have either openly expressed support or promoted the radical movement which believes there exists a secret cabal of high profile Satanic, child-eating pedophiles and that their savior-like figure of Donald Trump will still somehow return as president.
© Provided by Yahoo! News Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Bitter recriminations over the handling of the pandemic continue to fill the national discourse, even as that pandemic ends. Conservatives believe that restrictions were onerous and unnecessary, while liberals and progressives have criticized former President Donald Trump’s response. Trump frequently undermined and threatened Fauci, eventually making Dr. Scott Atlas, a controversial Stanford-affiliated physician, his top coronavirus adviser.
Even as the pandemic ebbs in the United States, the attacks against Fauci have intensified. Critics have used his emails, released recently under a Freedom of Information Act request, to buttress their claims. Those show that he was uncertain about the efficacy of masks in the early stages of the pandemic. So were many others at a time early on when how the virus spread was poorly understood. One email Fauci received in January 2020 did raise the possibility of a lab escape, but there is no evidence he concealed critical information about the origins of the virus. Such information has been exceptionally difficult to come by for investigators outside China.
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“Please cover his emails,” Greene said. “Get the truth out.” The emails were extensively covered by the Washington Post and other outlets, but conservatives who have been suspicious of Fauci and the scientific establishment from the start insist that the messages merit more investigation.
Taylor and her co-sponsors on the anti-Fauci bill (Republican Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky; Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar of Arizona; Mary Miller of Illinois; Buddy Carter of Georgia; Bob Good of Virginia; Matt Gaetz and Greg Steube of Florida; and Mo Brooks of Alabama) claim that Fauci knowingly funded research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology that made the virus more lethal. Although that laboratory did receive National Institutes of Health funding through a New York-based organization called the EcoHealth Alliance, both Fauci and NIH Director Francis Collins have explicitly said that Chinese grant recipients were prevented from using U.S. funds for so-called gain-of-function research, which makes a pathogen either more transmissible or more potent to see how it might then behave.
Marjorie Taylor Greene apologizes for 'offensive' Holocaust comparison after visiting Holocaust museum
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday apologized for her "offensive" comments comparing Capitol Hill mask-wearing rules to the Holocaust after visiting the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. © Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images North America/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 13: U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) arrives for a House Republican caucus candidate forum to replace outgoing conference chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) at the Capitol on May 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. Rep.
© Provided by Yahoo! News Rep. Thomas Massie calls for the firing of Dr. Anthony Fauci at the Capitol on Tuesday. (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Conservatives are unconvinced. Now that Fauci is associated with Biden, not Trump, their attacks are seemingly intended to imply that the new administration is incapable of holding China to account. Biden has, in fact, called for a more complete investigation of how the coronavirus originated.
“Were we all victims of a bioweapon?” wondered Greene, a onetime adherent of the QAnon conspiracy theory who has also mused about “Jewish space lasers” and more recently dismissed evolution. She demanded “reparations” from the Chinese government, which has sought to distance itself from any responsibility for the origins of the virus, going so far as to call for investigations of bioweapons at American facilities. Yet scientists have become increasingly emboldened in arguing that the lab escape theory needs a harder look, with greater cooperation from China. The notion that China unleashed a bioweapon on the world, however, is not considered a credible hypothesis.
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A conspiracy theory suggests that Navy SEALs arrested Hillary Clinton under Trump's direction, and that she was later hanged. This is false.In March, USA TODAY debunked an article that claimed Navy SEALs loyal to former President Donald Trump arrested former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for treason. The claim was fictional, but an "update" on Clinton's purported arrest is now circulating on TikTok and Instagram.
Trump was sometimes irritated with Fauci’s media appearances, and by the high degree of trustworthiness he was afforded by the public. Those grievances plainly persist. “Dr. Fauci leveraged his position as a leading figure in the White House to become a celebrity,” charged Rep. Biggs.
Greene and others spoke standing beside a placard that said: “Fauci lied. People died.” The words were accompanied by a photo of a masked Fauci, who is head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He has been in the federal government for 40 years and has served seven consecutive presidents, including Trump.
Firing him would be difficult, since Fauci is a senior public servant, not an appointed official. Nor are congressional Democrats, or the president, bound to take personnel advice from the most radical members of the opposition party, some of whom called into question Biden’s legitimate victory in last November’s election. © Provided by Yahoo! News Dr. Anthony Fauci at a Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill on May 26. (Sarah Silbiger/Reuters)
Among the participants in Tuesday’s anti-Fauci fusillade was Rep. Brooks, who last week was sued by Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., for his alleged role in inciting pro-Trump rioters on Jan. 6. In response to a question from Yahoo News, Brooks angrily denied that the anti-China rhetoric on display Tuesday could be fueling attacks against Asian Americans. He noted that Chinese Americans “are not necessarily members of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene Asks Georgia SOS Why He's Now Removing 100K Names From Voter Rolls
"We know that these 'voters' should not have voted in the November 2020 Presidential election. Are you worried about Fulton audit?" she tweeted on Saturday.Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said on Friday that 101,789 "obsolete and outdated voter files" will be removed from the state's voter registration rolls in order to ensure that Georgia's voter files are "up to date.
The purpose of Tuesday’s rally was largely symbolic, more significant in what it says about how conservatives plan to litigate the pandemic in the coming months, ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Even as life returns to normal in many parts of the country, there remain uncertainties about the upcoming school year, about how long white-collar workers will continue to work from home and just how much effort should go into investigating the origins of the coronavirus, not to mention how to prevent the next pandemic.
“Let’s not divide people with politics,” said Greene, who less than 24 hours earlier had called a press conference to apologize for having compared pandemic restrictions to the horrific treatment of Jews by Nazis during World War II. A skilled cultural warrior with little interest in seeking legislative solutions, Greene understands that the pandemic remains a motivating issue for both sides of the nation’s gaping political divide. © Provided by Yahoo! News Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene holds a press conference outside the Capitol following a private visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Monday. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)
Fauci has been living under heightened security for months. That is likely to continue as long as he remains at the center of conservatives’ ire. Last month the National Review ran a cover story on what it deemed “the unforced errors of America’s political doctor,” mockingly depicting him as a would-be saint. And the anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is set to release a book highly critical of Fauci in September. As of Monday evening, that book was among the bestselling on Amazon.
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