With voices raised, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan clashed over personal liberties and pandemics during a hearing Thursday. The heated exchange, over several rounds of questioning, went on until Jordan ran out of his allotted time and Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters told the congressman to "shut your mouth." Throughout the hearing, Jordan loudly pushed the infectious disease expert on when the nation will achieve herd immunity from the coronavirus and when pandemic restrictions will be dropped, the Hill reports. "When do Americans get their freedom back?" Jordan asked. "We had 15 days to slow the spread, turned into a year of lost liberties." After Fauci began to answer that the best thing to do is gradually end restrictions once infection rates fall enough, Jordan interrupted, saying, "Give me a number."
When Jordan said Americans' First Amendment rights have been ignored during the pandemic, Fauci said, "We're not talking about liberties, we’re talking about a pandemic that has killed 560,000 Americans." Jordan also said people have been censored who disagree with Fauci. "You’re making this a personal thing, and it isn't," Fauci said. "My recommendations are not personal recommendations." When Jordan asked the same questions, Fauci told him, "You're ranting again." The two have clashed before. After the chair informed Jordan that his time was up, even as he kept asking questions, Waters, who was up next, suggested he cease talking. "You need to respect the chair," she told Jordan. per CNN. The stated purpose of the hearing was to assess the Biden administration's progress on coronavirus vaccinations. (Read more Anthony Fauci stories.)