MTG refused to address Anthony Fauci as a doctor during a combative House hearing

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia was reprimanded Monday for refusing to recognize Dr. Anthony Fauci as a doctor during a combative House hearing on Fauci’s role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Mr. Fauci, because you’re not doctor, you’re Mr. Fauci in my few minutes,” Greene, a Republican, said in an address to Fauci.

Fauci tried to respond to Greene’s question about masking guidelines during the pandemic, but his response could not be heard as his microphone did not appear to be on. Shortly after, Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, jumped in to clarify whether Greene could ignore Fauci’s title.

“Mr. Chairman, in terms of the rules of decorum, are we allowed to deny that a doctor is a doctor because we don’t want him to be a doctor?” Raskin said.

Republican lawmakers grilled Fauci during his first hearing since leaving the federal government in 2022. Fauci was testifying before the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, a panel investigating the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fauci, one of the nation’s foremost infectious-disease experts, played a major role in shaping the response to the outbreak. Over time, then-President Donald Trump soured on Fauci’s guidance, and he became a favorite target of many on the far right. Fauci testified that he still receives death threats.

Greene defended her treatment of Fauci, saying to Raskin: “Yes, because in my time that man does not deserve to have a license. As a matter of fact, it should be revoked, and he belongs in prison.”

She later added that Fauci had committed “crimes against humanity.”

Fauci played a major role in the Trump administration’s development of COVID vaccines, which have been found to decrease the risk of hospitalization and death for people with the virus.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, a Republican from Ohio who led the panel, admonished Greene for her actions.

“The gentlelady should recognize the doctor as a doctor,” Wenstrup said.

Rep. Robert Garcia, a Democrat from California who spoke immediately after Greene, apologized to Fauci about how he was treated.

“Quite frankly, this might be the most insane hearing I’ve ever attended, and I’ve only been in Congress for a year and a half,” Garcia said. “I’m so sorry that you are subjected to those levels of attacks.”

Greene, a close ally of the former House speaker Kevin McCarthy, has returned to her roots of challenging GOP leadership and upending House hearings with her questions. Earlier this year, Greene led an unsuccessful effort to oust Speaker Mike Johnson.

She has also threatened to “defund” the state of New York after a jury there found Trump guilty on 34 felony counts related to a scheme to falsify business records to cover up hush-money payments to a porn star.

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Brent D. Griffiths