President Trump's Assistant Health Secretary has blasted Anthony Fauci for what he claims is an exploding ego - and warned the nation's most powerful doctor to stay out of politics.
Speaking on Fox News on Monday, Admiral Brett Giroir, himself a trained physician, said that he had witnessed a significant change in Fauci's behavior in the ten months since he last worked with the nation's top doctor.
'I think the ego is really expanding beyond what I saw,' Giroir began.
'Look, Tony was a good colleague when I worked with him but he's become much more politician and it is a fact that the NIH his institute funded gain of function research. That's a fact, it's not a rumor or a lie by anyone in the Senate so why do you say that's a problem?
Former President Trump's Assistant Health Secretary, Brett Giroir, has criticized the country's Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci
Adm. Brett Giroir on Fauci staying in his lane:
"I think the ego is really expanding beyond what I saw ... He's become much more political ..."
On overreaction to OMICRON:
"I have no idea why this overreaction is occurring and I can guarantee it's going to cause more harm." pic.twitter.com/nmNtdcYymj— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) November 30, 2021
In May, Fauci testified that the NIH 'has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.'
Gain of function is used to make viruses more infectious in a bid to try and develop treatments for them.
However, Fauci also said during that hearing that there was no way to know if Chinese scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology lied and conducted gain of function experiments on bat coronaviruses using U.S. tax dollars.
'There's no way of guaranteeing that,' Fauci said at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, responding to a question from Republican Sen. John Kennedy.
'But in our experience with grantees, including Chinese grantees, which we have had interactions with for a very long period of time - they are very competent, trustworthy scientists,' Fauci testified.
Speaking on Fox News, Giroir, right, said that Fauci's 'ego' was getting the better of him since Biden took office He advised the nation's top doctor to stay out of politics and focus on health
But Giroir wasn't done when it came to criticism of doctor Fauci and advised the doctor to stick to health issues and avoid stepping into politics.
'You know, I think he needs to stick to the area where he is most knowledgeable, and that is about vaccine development. He's not knowledgeable about liberty or rights, or public health measures, if he sticks to his firm ground he'll be a good resource for the country, and that's probably all I have to say,' Giroir directed.
The former Assistant Health Secretary made the suggestion after a glut of Republican Senators lashed out at Fauci after he pronounced himself 'the science' and 'the epitome of knowledge.' He also referred to himself in the third person, sparking further accusations of ego-driven behavior.
On Sunday, Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas joined GOP Senate colleagues Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas in snapping back at Fauci.
On Sunday, Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas joined GOP Senate colleagues Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, pictured, in snapping back at Fauci
The doctor had attacked Republican criticism of his COVID policies during a CBS interview on Sunday.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton has criticized bureaucrats like Dr. Anthony Fauci who think they are 'the science', the 'epitome of knowledge' and can tell Americans what to do - even though they are just 'so-called experts'
Paul went after the 'absolute hubris of someone claiming THEY represent science' and Cruz called Biden's top COVID advisor a 'smug unelected technocrat'.
Cotton told Fox and Friends today that Fauci believes he knows 'better than the people's elected representative', compared him to a 'grubby politicians' and slammed him for 'lying to Congress' about funding dangerous gain-of-function research.
'Tony Fauci lied to Congress and he should be investigated. He repeatedly said that his agency did not fund dangerous and risky gain of function research in those Wuhan labs, which almost certainly was the origin of this virus, ' Cotton said.
'He put the American people at risk by funding this dangerous research, which was happening under the Obama administration, which he thought he knew better than the people's elected representatives.
'It's just another example of how these bureaucrats think that they are the science, that they represent the epitome of knowledge and those grubby politicians, like the president of the United States and United States senators and representatives, have no business telling them what to do. That's not the way our democracy functions.'
Paul tweeted Sunday: 'The absolute hubris of someone claiming THEY represent science. It's astounding and alarming that a public health bureaucrat would even think to claim such a thing, especially one who has worked so hard to ignore the science of natural immunity.'
Cotton joined GOP Senate colleagues Rand Paul and Ted Cruz in snapping back at Fauci for attacking Republican criticism of his COVID policies during a CBS interview on Sunday. Fauci is pictured with President Biden during his speech on the Omicrom variant on Monday
In the interview with CBS on Sunday, Fauci dismissed Republican criticism of his work as 'lies' and agreed with the notion that GOP lawmakers were using him as a scapegoat.
'Anybody who's looking at this carefully realizes that there's a distinct anti-science flavor to this, so if they get up and criticize science, nobody's going to know what they're talking about,' Fauci told CBS' Margaret Brennan.
Referring to himself in the third person, he added: 'But if they get up and really aim their bullets at Tony Fauci, well people can recognize that there's a person there, so it's easy to criticize, but they're really criticizing science because I represent science.'
Paul had confronted Fauci earlier this year of lying about the NIH's involvement in coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a claim Fauci fought back against, calling Paul a liar.
Both Cruz and Paul also had harsh words for Fauci after his extensive interview with CBS show Face The Nation aired on Sunday
In July Dr. Fauci lashed out at Senator Paul during a Senate hearing as he accused the Kentucky Republican of being a 'liar' who 'doesn't know what you're talking about' when it comes to COVID origins and gain-of-function research.
'Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11 where you claimed the NIH [National Institutes of Health] never funded gain of function research in Wuhan?' Paul asked of the nation's top immunologist and Joe Biden's top COVID advisor.
'Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress and I do not retract that statement,' Fauci shot back in the heated exchange on Capitol Hill during a Senate Health Committee hearing.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz also had harsh words in response to Fauci's criticism on Sunday, responding in a tweet thread of his own.
The former presidential candidate wrote: 'Fauci is an unelected technocrat who has distorted science and facts in order to exercise authoritarian control over millions of Americans. He lives in a liberal world where his smug 'I REPRESENT science' attitude is praised.'
Senator Rand Paul, pictured, responded to comments made about him by Dr Anthony Fauci on Sunday. He criticized the 'absolute hubris of someone claiming THEY represent science' and Cruz called Biden's top COVID advisor a 'smug unelected technocrat'
He then went on to restate his criticisms of Fauci.
Cruz's tweets were in response to Brennan telling Fauci, 'Senator Cruz told the attorney general you should be prosecuted.'
Fauci laughed off the accusation before appearing to claim that Cruz had a role in the events leading up to the deadly Capitol riot.
'Yeah. I have to laugh at that. I should be prosecuted? What happened on January 6, senator?' Fauci replied.
The news anchor asked Fauci if he thought 'this is about making you a scapegoat' to deflect from Donald Trump.
'Of course, you have to be asleep not to figure that one out,' he said.
'That's OK, I'm just going to do my job and I'm going to be saving lives and they're going to be lying.'
Cruz is one of several Republican senators who have accused Fauci of lying to Congress about funding for biological research involving studying the genetic sequencing of viruses, known as 'gain of function' research.
Republicans have claimed that the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where Fauci works as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, funded the controversial research in Wuhan, where COVID-19 first emerged.
Both NIH and Fauci have denied the claim.
Fauci singled out Paul as a liar. The two have argued in Congressional testimony several times in 2021