A FORMER Republican representative who called the coronavirus a “hoax” has called on President Trump to fire COVID-19 adviser Dr Fauci.
Ron Paul, a retired physician who made a bid for president three times during his tenure as a Texas Congressman, insinuated that Fauci is a “fraud”.
“He should be fired, but if you don’t do it in the literal sense, the people have to fire him,” the Texas Republican said on his show, the Ron Paul Liberty Report.
“They have to fire him by saying, ‘He’s a fraud.'”
Paul, a longtime leader of the Libertarian movement, recently referred to the coronavirus pandemic as a hoax.
Writing in his weekly column on his website, he said: “People should ask themselves whether this coronavirus ‘pandemic’ could be a big hoax, with the actual danger of the disease massively exaggerated by those who seek to profit – financially or politically – from the ensuing panic.”
The column was titled “The Coronavirus Hoax”.
In the same column, which was posted on March 16, Paul added: “The chief fearmonger of the Trump Administration is without a doubt Anthony Fauci. Fauci is all over the media, serving up outright falsehoods to stir up even more panic.
“He testified to Congress that the death rate for the coronavirus is ten times that of the seasonal flu, a claim without any scientific basis.”
Fauci, who has been described as the “scientific voice of reason”, has become a regular fixture at President Trump’s press briefings.
The director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has led the charge on tackling the coronavirus, being one of the first to say restaurants and bars should be shut in the US.
In Paul’s 28 minute-long episode, he referred to the coronavirus event as having been blown “way out of proportion”.
“It’s looking like the people who promoted this the most, guys like Fauci, they are admitting that maybe they over-predicted.”
Fauci has not said the coronavirus was over-predicted.
On Thursday, he addressed “conspiracy theories” that had been circulating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conservative media figures, such as Tucker Carlson, have been perpetuating theories that the death count may have been inflated by journalists with an agenda.
On April 4, an article in WeForum appeared which discussed whether the US might be “vastly overestimating” the death toll.
“When it comes to COVID-19, counting is a challenge,” the author Nina Schwalbe, a visiting fellow at the UN’s University International Institute for Global Health, wrote.
“Despite all the news articles and reports, we know very little about the incidence or prevalence of this new disease.”
She added many estimates for the virus’ mortality rate may be too high.
Fauci responded to the claims, telling NBC: “There is absolutely no evidence that that’s the case at all.
“I think it falls under the category of something that’s very unfortunate — these conspiracy theories that we hear about,” he continued on Thursday. “Any time we have a crisis of any sort there is always this popping up of conspiracy theories.”
Ron Paul’s son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, was the first senator to test positive for the coronavirus, and recover.
“I have been retested and I am negative,” the Kentucky Republican tweeted earlier this month.
“I have started volunteering at a local hospital to assist those in my community who are in need of medical help, including Coronavirus patients. Together we will overcome this!”
The US has 467,184 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 16,736 deaths as of April 10.
The virus has now killed more people in New York City than those who died in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
At his press conference on Thursday, Trump ruled out the option of mass coronavirus testing, and said he was aiming to reopen parts of the US by May 1 – predicting there would be fewer than 100,000 deaths.
“Hopefully, we’re going to be opening up — you could call it opening — very, very, very, very soon, I hope,” he said.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin also confirmed that America would reopen next month.
When asked on CNBC on Thursday morning if he believes the country could be open for business in the month of May, Mnuchin answered “I do.”
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