Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters told Republican Congressman Jim Jordan to "shut his mouth" when he asked Dr. Fauci when the pandemic will end and America will get their "liberties" back. "What metrics, what measures, what has to happen before Americans get their freedoms?" Jordan asked Fauci after going on an extended rant about what he described as arbitrary and overreaching restrictions on daily life.
But Jordan seemed far more interested in yelling at the NIAID director-or at least scoring political points- instead of hearing his replies, which after a few minutes, finally led Dr. Fauci to finally push back.
'My recommendations are not a personal recommendation, it's based on the CDC guidance, which is underscored.' Fauci continued, before being interrupted by Jordan.
'No, you haven't given anything specific, ' Jordan shot back.
The California congresswoman then jumped in, asking Jordan if he would yield his time to her, which he refused to do. "I'm actually asking a question that the citizens I get the privilege of representing and my name actually goes on the ballot".
"No, you are!" Fauci said sharply. 'I mean obviously everyone would like to see that situation fixed, I know that it's a very hard situation, ' he added after the Louisiana Republican asked if migrants in custody should be following COVID-19 social distancing protocols.
During a House subcommittee hearing about federal government's response to the pandemic, Jordan, an OH conservative, asked Fauci when the nation can begin relaxing physical distancing measures and mask-wearing - posing it as a question as to when Americans will regain their freedom and liberties.
'I just told you that, ' Fauci said. "What you're going to see is more and more people get vaccinated and we get over 3 million people a day, you're going to see the level of infection come down and down, and gradually, there will be more flexibility for doing the things you're talking about". We're not talking about liberties. "We're talking about a pandemic that has killed 560,000 Americans". He declared "First Amendment rights", and rights to attend church, petition one's government, freedom of the press and freedom of speech have "all been assaulted".
"I want to know when Americans will get those First Amendment liberties back", the lawmaker said as he pressed Fauci.
"You just said people can not assemble in their own homes".
'COVID-positive migrants are released into the country, and that's allowed - but a vaccinated person can't go to a restaurant?' Scalise said.
The subcommittee's chairman, Rep. Jim Clyburn, then noted that Jordan's time to ask questions had run out and noted that Americans could take a step toward "getting our liberties back" when "90% of the members of the United States Congress get vaccinated".
"Where does it get to?"