Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, clashed on Friday over whether holding protests is making matters worse amid the coronavirus pandemic.
During his testimony before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus on Friday, Fauci was asked by Jordan if holding protests increases the spread of the coronavirus.
Fauci focused his answer on crowds in general rather than protests specifically.
“Crowding together particularly when you’re not wearing a mask contributes to the spread of the virus,” Fauci said.
Jordan pressed Fauci on his answer asking him if protesting should be limited.
Fauci said he is not in the position to “determine what the government can do in a forceful way.”
Watch their exchange below:
Can’t go to church.— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 31, 2020
Can’t go to work.
Can’t go to school.
Even Dr. Fauci says protesting is dangerous.
But Democrats encourage people to riot and protest in the streets. pic.twitter.com/78Dyjkt6D6
Jordan challenged Fauci on why it is okay to hold protests while it is not okay to attend church services.
Fauci fired back explaining he is not targeting anyone and reiterated avoiding any type of crowd is important in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
“I’m not favoring anybody over anybody. I’m just making a statement that’s a broad statement that avoid crowds of any type no matter where you are because that leads to the acquisition and transmission,” Fauci said.
He added, “And I don’t judge one crowd versus another crowd. When you’re in a crowd particularly if you’re not wearing a mask that induces the spread.”
Jordan continued to hammer Fauci on whether protests should be limited.
“I don’t know how many times I can answer that,” Fauci said.
Fauci reiterated he is not going to “opine on limiting anything.”
Jordan accused Fauci of opining on other things.
The congressman sought to clarify Fauci’s position, as he claimed the leading health expert was indicating protests do not increase the spread of the coronavirus.
“I didn’t say that. You’re putting words in my mouth,” Fauci said.
The exchange came to a close as Jordan asked Fauci one last time if protests contribute to the spread.
Fauci doubled down on his response.
“I’m saying that crowds, wherever the crowds are, can give you an increased probability that there’s going to be acquisition and transmission,” Fauci said.