Eric Swalwell Expertly Skewers Republicans’ “Cult” of Trump

But Greene wasn’t the only representative who threw inexplicable curveballs at the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Several GOP lawmakers all played the same game while Fauci was in the chair: New York Representative Nicole Malliotakis and Arizona Representative Debbie Lesko tried and failed to implicate him in popular conspiracy theories with evidence they didn’t have; committee Chair James Comer wouldn’t let him speak, claiming he had too many questions to get through; and Ohio Representative Jim Jordan threw him such irrelevant questions that it caused Fauci to ask, “What does that have to do with me?”

“I have testified literally hundreds of times over the last 40 years, over [at] Congress, and there’s always been differences of opinion, differences of ideology, criticisms, and things like that,” Fauci told CNN. “But the level of vitriol that we see now just in the country in general—but actually played out during this hearing was really quite unfortunate.”

And, ultimately, those questions distracted from and derailed a hearing with a real purpose: to educate Congress to better protect the American people ahead of another pandemic, according to Fauci.