Scientists, medical professionals defend Fauci after heated exchanges with Republicans

Dozens of scientists and medical professionals have signed a letter defending White House chief medical adviser Anthony FauciAnthony FauciKid Rock releases anti-Biden, anti-Fauci single with a 'Let's go, Brandon' chorus Fauci: Omicron-specific vaccines 'prudent' but may be unnecessary Conservative pundit says YouTube blocked interview with Rand Paul MORE after he faced fierce criticism from Republican lawmakers during a hearing earlier this week.

"We deplore the personal attacks on Dr. FauciAnthony FauciKid Rock releases anti-Biden, anti-Fauci single with a 'Let's go, Brandon' chorus Fauci: Omicron-specific vaccines 'prudent' but may be unnecessary Conservative pundit says YouTube blocked interview with Rand Paul MORE," the letter, obtained by Politico, said. "The criticism is inaccurate, unscientific, ill-founded in the facts and, increasingly, motivated by partisan politics. It is a distraction from what should be the national focus — working together to finally overcome a pandemic that is killing about 500,000 people a year."

It added that Fauci has "unswervingly served the United States guiding the country to very successful outcomes" and has the scientific community's "unreserved respect and trust as a scientist and a national leader."

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The letter, which was initiated by former transition adviser to President BidenJoe BidenDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors On The Money — Vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses nixed Warner tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case MORE Ezekiel Emanual and Cornell University's John Moore, features signatories including former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), three Nobel Laureates, the former president of Princeton University and many other high-ranking academics, doctors and scientists, according to Politico.

The support from the scientists came after Fauci had two tense exchanges with lawmakers at a hearing this week.

Fauci had a terse exchange with Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulConservative pundit says YouTube blocked interview with Rand Paul These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 I'm furious about Democrats taking the blame — it's time to fight back MORE (R-Ky.), saying that the senator's personal attacks on him were putting the infectious diseases expert at risk. 

"This happens all the time. You personally attack me, with absolutely not a shred of evidence of anything you say. So I would like to make something clear to the committee: You're doing this for political reasons," Fauci told Paul during a Senate Health Committee hearing about the omicron variant.

Fauci also had a heated interaction in the hearing with another Republican lawmaker, Sen. Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallSwalwell slams House Republican for touting funding in bill she voted down The Hill's Morning Report: Biden takes it on the chin GOP senator plans to introduce FAUCI Act after clash at hearing MORE (Kan.), whom Fauci was caught calling "a moron" on a hot mic after Marshall questioned him about his personal finance disclosure. 

"I don't understand why you're asking me that question," Fauci said to Marshall. "My financial disclosure is public knowledge and has been so for the last 37 years or so."