Dr. Fauci Says Social Distancing Wasn’t Based on Data: ‘Sort of Just Appeared’

By: Lauren Fokas | Published: Jan 21, 2024

Throughout the first week of January 2024, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic met and interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci to get a better understanding of what really happened during the COVID-19 pandemic

And since the summary of Dr. Fauci’s closed-door interviews has been released, the entire world is talking about what the doctor had to say.

Chairman Brad Wenstrup Released the Statement Summarizing Dr. Fauci’s Testimony

The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic listened closely to Dr. Anthony Fauci’s testimony for two days, and shortly after, Chairman Bran Wenstrup released a summary of the doctor’s answers to their questions. 

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education about the NIH

Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Wenstrup first said, “Dr. Fauci claimed that the policies and mandates he promoted may unfortunately increase vaccine hesitancy for years to come” and that “Dr. Fauci’s transcribed interview revealed systemic failures in our public health system and shed light on serious procedural concerns with our public health authority.”

Breaking Down Fauci’s Testimony

Then, Wenstrup wrote the “Key takeaways from day two of Dr. Fauci’s transcribed interview” in a bulleted list.

A marker on the floor asks people to remain 6 feet apart at a vaccination sit in 2021

Source: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Number one on the list is that “Dr. Fauci claimed that the ‘6 feet apart’ social distancing recommendation promoted by federal health officials was likely not based on any data. He characterized the development of the guidance by stating ‘it sort of just appeared.’”

The Lab Leak Was Not a Conspiracy Theory

Next, Wenstrup wrote, “Dr. Fauci acknowledged that the lab leak hypothesis is not a conspiracy theory.”

Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci responds to accusations by Sen. Rand Pau

Source: J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images

And continued, “This comes nearly four years after prompting the publication of the now infamous ‘Proximal Origin’ paper that attempted to vilify and disprove the lab leak hypothesis.”

What Is the “Proximal Origin” Hypothesis?

It’s important to understand that toward the beginning of the pandemic, Fauci and other members of the National Institute of Health (NIH) released research to the public that proved the idea that the COVID-19 virus was man-made almost impossible. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci arrives at the U.S Capitol for the first of two days of interviews before of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic

Source: Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

The paper “Proximal Origins” was published in March 2020, and it stated that the virus originated zoonotically and that the idea of a lab leak was essentially nonsense.

Now, Fauci Is Saying a Lab Leak Was Possible

However, in his statement during the subcommittee interview, Fauci talked in circles about the definition of a lab leak and fully admitted that it was not a conspiracy theory. 

Dr. Anthony Facui listens to a question in court

Source: Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty Images

And while he never said that is absolutely what happened, Wenstrup wrote in his press release that “It is impossible for Dr. Fauci to defend the conclusion of [“Proximal Origins”] while simultaneously acknowledging that a lab-leak is possible.”


Dr. Fauci Denied Accusations that He Worked with the CIA

While Dr. Fauci spent much of the interview admitting to lies and mistakes he made, one allegation he defended was that he had worked with the CIA to hide the origins of the COVID-19 virus. 

White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha speaks at the daily press briefing at the White House

Source: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

There is also no mention of any statistics or data being manipulated throughout the pandemic.


Dr. Fauci Admitted to Imposing Vaccine Mandates

However, he did admit throughout the questioning that “When American universities approached Dr. Fauci, he advised them to impose vaccine mandates on their students.”

Americans wearing masks wait in line outside of a grocery store while social distancing was in place

Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Fauci also said, “When you make it difficult for people in their lives, they lose their ideological bullshit, and they get vaccinated,” and that his choices will increase vaccine hesitancy in the future.


There Was No Mention of the Mask Mandate

In Wenstrup’s statement, there was no mention of the mask mandate employed by Washington, D.C., during the pandemic. 

Sign outside a restaurant that says “Facemasks Required”

Source: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

However, there are certainly people wondering that if the 6-feet-apart regulation was essentially made up, the idea that masks were helping stop the spread of the virus was false information as well.


Senator Rand Paul Wants Fauci Criminally Prosecuted

In response to Dr. Fauci’s testimony, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is asking the government to criminally prosecute Anthony Fauci for lying to Congress.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to reporters

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And while many others agree, some like Wenstrup have spoken out in support of Fauci’s decision to finally come forward. Wenstrup said in his statement, “I appreciate Dr. Fauci’s willingness to testify privately in front of the Select Subcommittee and look forward to speaking with him further at a public hearing this year.”


Fauci’s Testimony Will Have Real and Lasting Effects on the American Population

Whether or not Dr. Fauci and the NHI are charged with lying to the government and the American people, his testimony alone will undoubtedly have permanent effects on Americans and the world as a whole.

“Stay Home Essential Travel Only” sign on an electronic billboard

Source: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Wenstrup wrote that in the future, Americans will be far more hesitant to participate in vaccinations and mandates due to Dr. Fauci’s admission that the 6-feet-apart mandate was not based on any evidence or data.


Americans Want the Facts

After living through a pandemic, a lockdown, various mandates, and an imposed vaccine, finding out that they were lied to is extremely frustrating for the American people.

Signs instruct citizens to remain 6 feet apart and observe social distancing measures in Mission Bay, San Francisco, California

Source: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

There’s no doubt that Dr. Fauci’s testimony will lead to big changes at the CDC, NHI, and even within the US government’s response to global or nationwide pandemics in the future. Wenstrup wrote, “Should a future pandemic arise, America’s response must be guided by scientific facts and conclusive data.”