GOP lawmakers hatch new plan to get rid of Dr. Fauci

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Six House Republicans suddenly think no one should run the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for more than 12 years.

A group of House Republicans wants to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci. Since they don't have that power, they are instead proposing a bill to effectively term-limit him out of a job.

Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) filed a bill on Wednesday to "provide that an individual may not occupy the position of the Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for more than 12 years." Fauci has held the position, as the nation's top epidemiologist, since 1984.

The bill is co-sponsored by Andy Biggs (AZ), Greg Murphy (NC), Ralph Norman (SC), Chip Roy (TX), and Greg Steube (FL).

No such time limits apply to other medical experts in and out of government.

A spokesperson for Davidson did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

But in the title of the bill, he made it clear that it was really designed to punish one person and one person only: He called it the Fauci Incompetence Requires Early Dismissal (FIRED) Act.

"In the wake of massive missteps by Dr. Fauci and his subordinates in the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, this bill addresses an oft overlooked issue: the lack of accountability for federal bureaucrats," he wrote, charging that under Fauci and "draconian public health policies," Americans have lost confidence in their government.

On Facebook, Davidson bragged: "Today the House GOP fired Liz Cheney. Next, we should Fire Dr. Fauci. My new bill, the Fauci's Incompetence Requires Early Dismissal (FIRED) Act, will free Americans from his anti-science approach to the pandemic so we can restore our freedoms."

Republicans have long targeted Fauci, who has advocated for science-based safety measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus and undermined Donald Trump's attempts to intentionally mislead the American public about the pandemic.

But contrary to Davidson's claims, the public has consistently trusted Fauci and preferred his approach to the GOP's denial.

A November CNBC/Change Research poll found 72% of likely voters approved of his handling of the COVID-19 crisis, with just 28% disapproving. The same survey showed just 41% approval for Trump's response — and 59% disapproval.

In October, Morning Consult noted that six months of polling data showed American voters "consistently rated Fauci's handling of the pandemic above that of Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, their state's governor, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, Congress and lawmakers from both parties." Nearly two-thirds of them rated Fauci's response as "excellent" or "good."

On Jan. 3, all six backers of the 12-year limit for epidemiologists voted to make Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) the House speaker. On that date, he had been serving in Congress for exactly 14 years.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.