The National Republican Congressional Committee is lying that the nation's top epidemiologist is 'canceling Christmas.'
House Republicans are trying to raise money off a false claim that Dr. Anthony Fauci is trying to stop Christmas.
On Tuesday, the National Republican Congressional Committee sent a fundraising text message — first flagged by a Forbes reporter — warning: "Alert: Fauci's canceling Christmas! We will lose the war on Christmas to the liberal snowflakes unless you sign our petition to Fire Fauci ASAP."
A link sent recipients to a sign-up page with the title "Save Christmas: Fire Fauci!"
The accusation is false. On Sunday, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked on CBS News whether it would be safe to hold family gatherings by Christmas given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's just too soon to tell," he explained. "We've just gotta [concentrate] on continuing to get those numbers down, and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we're gonna do at a particular time."
Republican lawmakers quickly jumped on the claim, baselessly saying that it proved Fauci and President Joe Biden's administration were scheming to "cancel Christmas."
On Monday, Fauci clarified on CNN that his comments were meant to encourage people to get immunized against COVID-19, not to discourage them from celebrating with their loved ones. He said his statement "was misinterpreted as my saying we can't spend Christmas with our families, which was absolutely not the case. I will be spending Christmas with my family, I encourage people, particularly the vaccinated people who are protected, to have a good, normal Christmas with your family."
Still, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) began running a Facebook ad on Monday saying, "Sorry, Fauci, absolutely no one is waiting on you ruling whether we can celebrate Christmas. It's on, you're off."
House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik tweeted, "How Joe Biden & the Democrats Stole Christmas. Fire Fauci. Fire Pelosi. Fire JOE BIDEN. Save Christmas. Save America."
Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) demanded Fauci be ousted for merely clarifying his remarks.
"WOW! Fauci is now walking back his statements about CANCELING Christmas. How does he still have a job? He'll say ANYTHING to spread FEAR, even though he's been wrong on nearly EVERYTHING for his entire career," he wrote "It's time to FIRE FAUCI and get him OUT of government!"
The Biden administration has been working for months to get every eligible American vaccinated and allow a return to normal.
Republicans in Congress and around the country have railed against those efforts, trying to block vaccine requirements and in some cases spreading disinformation about whether the vaccines are safe and effective.
They have also repeatedly attacked Fauci for doing his job. Even prior to his Sunday appearance, Reps. Nancy Mace (SC) and Brian Mast (FL) were running Facebook ads demanding his firing.
These efforts have not been very successful. A July survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania found 68% of Americans trust Fauci's advice about the coronavirus pandemic.
The GOP has also been pushing a fictitious claim for years that there is a "war on Christmas" and that only they will save the holiday. A 2020 poll found just 40% of Americans believe the claim — mostly GOP voters.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.